With over 70 farmers’ markets in the state, Vermont has good reason to mark National Farmers’ Market Week. From August 3-9, 2014 the Vermont Farmers’ Market Association (VTFMA) and the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) will be joined by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture and farmers’ markets across the country to celebrate the ways that farmers’ markets bolster local economies, improve community health, and bring diverse groups of people together through a shared social space.
This year marks the 14th annual National Farmers Market Week. In those years, the number of farmers’ markets nationwide has almost tripled, from 2,860 markets in 2000 to 8,140 in 2013. Vermont has seen similar growth, with the number of farmers’ markets doubling in the past ten years. Vermont now leads the country in the highest number of farmers’ markets per-capita, and farmers’ markets have become fresh food mainstays for shoppers throughout Vermont’s communities, all year round.
VTFMA and NOFA-VT want to continue to strengthen Vermont farmers’ markets by showing support and raising awareness about the positive contributions they provide for communities across the state. This year, these two organizations are partnering to host a National Farmers’ Market Week Photo Contest! Individuals can enter by taking a selfie at a Vermont farmers’ market and submitting their photo on the VTFMA Facebook page between July 21st and August 2nd. Winners will receive a gift certificate to their favorite Vermont farmers’ market. Details are available at www.vtfma.org.
In addition to celebrating markets, VTFMA provides networking, promotional, and advocacy opportunities for its many member markets. In addition to serving as the parent organization for the VTFMA, NOFA-VT provides technical assistance and support to farmers’ markets all year round.