By Tony Jarboe, NFU Communications Coordinator

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has declared this week, Aug. 7-13, to be National Farmers Market Week. In his proclamation, Secretary Vilsack said that “thousands of farmers markets across the country offer consumers affordable, convenient, and the healthful products sold directly to consumers in their freshest possible state.”

NFU is a proud supporter of farmers markets and direct-to-consumer programs such as “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food.” Farmers markets help reconnect consumers to their food supply. The average American is six generations removed from the farm, meaning that many Americans know very little about where their food comes from. By reconnecting with their food and with food producers, it helps consumers become more conscious of the choices they make.

This proclamation by Secretary Vilsack recognizes the significance of farmers markets and the benefits that they offer to both farmers and consumers. For farmers, such markets allow them to reach out and sell their products directly to consumers and offers another potential revenue stream for specialty crop for producers. For consumers, farmers markets offer fresh, healthy produce that is grown locally. At farmers markets, producers capture a larger share of the food dollar by cutting out the middleman.  Money spent at farmers markets also keeps more of that money in the local economy.

Farmers markets benefit family farmers and ranchers, consumers, and rural communities. Join NFU in celebrating the benefits that farmers markets offer everyone. Click here to visit USDA’s website and to get more info about farmers markets, including finding one near you.