August 7-13 National Farmers’ Market Week

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today signed a proclamation declaring Aug. 7-13, 2016, as “National Farmers Market Week.” This year marks the 17th annual National Farmers Market Week to honor and celebrate the important role that farmers markets play in local economies.

“Farmers markets are an important part of strong local and regional food systems that con­nect farmers with new customers and grow rural economies. In many areas, they are also expanding access to fresh, healthy food for people of all income lev­els,” said Secretary Vilsack. “National Farmers Market Week recognizes the growth of these markets and their role in supporting both urban and rural commu­nities.”

Throughout the week, USDA officials will cele­brate at farmers’ market locations across the country. On Saturday, Aug. 6, Elanor Starmer, the Administrator of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) – which conducts research, provides tech­nical assistance, and awards grants to sup­port local and regional food systems – will kick off the week visiting a farmers market and wrap up the week at USDA’s own farmers market in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Aug. 12.

“Farmers markets are a gathering place where you can buy locally pro­duced food, and at the same time, get to know the farmer and story behind the food you pur­chase,” said Administrator Starmer. “These types of markets improve earning poten­tial for farmers and ranchers, building stron­ger community ties and access to local foods.”

To help farmers mar­ket managers across the country promote and cel­ebrate National Farmers Market Week, USDA is sharing online free farm­ers market-related graphics that market managers and others can use to customize posters, emails, websites and other promotional materials. The graphics, along with a short dem­onstration video, can be found at www.ams.usda.gov/resources/NFMW

Over the course of the Obama Administration, USDA has invested close to $1 billion in 40,000 local food businesses and infrastructure proj­ects. Farmers markets provide consumers with fresh, affordable, conve­nient, and healthy prod­ucts from local produc­ers. With support from USDA, more farmers markets offer customers the opportunity to make purchases with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; the Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program; and the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Programs.

Supporting farmers markets is a part of the USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food (KYF2) Initiative, which coordinates the Department’s work to develop strong local and regional food sys­tems. USDA is commit­ted to helping farmers, ranchers, and business­es access the growing market for local and regional foods, which was valued at $12 bil­lion in 2014 according to industry estimates. You can also find local and regional supply chain resources on the newly-revamped KYF2 website and use the KYF2 Compass to locate USDA invest­ments in your commu­nity.

More information on how USDA investments are connecting produc­ers with consumers and expanding rural eco­nomic opportunities is available in Chapter IV of USDA Results on

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