Jun 3, 2024
Farmer’s market celebration begins

American Farmland Trust (AFT) has kicked off the 16th annual America’s Farmer’s Market Celebration (AFMC).

The event celebrates the only annual ranking of the top farmers markets in the U.S. as voted on by the public. This year, AFT celebrated the event with $15,000 in prizes, according to a news release.

“Since 2008, AFMC has highlighted the key role farmers markets play in communities across the nation while celebrating the farmers, staff and volunteers that make markets possible. While they have long served as pillars of local food in urban centers and town squares, in recent years, farmers markets have gained the national recognition they deserve as essential businesses that power farmers and communities to thrive,” according to the release.

American Farmland Trust AFT

 

The 16th annual AFMC will run on a condensed timeframe in 2024, through July 31 on its newly redesigned and branded website markets.farmland.org. The summer event is a fun competition that helps farmers markets across the country earn national recognition and local prestige. Markets can join the celebration and encourage their customers to vote, an excellent marketing tool and a pathway to winning a piece of the $15,000 prize pool, according to the release.

The breakdown of prize money is: $5,000 for first, $2,500 for second, $1,500 for third, $750 for fourth, $250 for fifth, and $100 to first in each state. In addition to the prize money, the top markets also receive national and local press coverage, complimentary American Farmland Trust, No Farms No Food gear, and other prizes.

“Farmers markets are a fun and delicious way for everyone to get the freshest food available, connect with farmers and learn the story of how the food has been grown. In so many cases, these markets are critical to ensuring the economic success and longevity of the farms and ranches around us,” Beth Sauerhaft, American Farmland Trust acting president, said in the release. “So this week and every week, please go visit a farmers market and support these folks who grow our delicious and nutritious food!”

The AFMC also identifies the top markets in each state and in the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, and Pacific regions.

“The excitement that this competition created was something like I have never seen before at our farmers market,” Chris Delprince, market manager at North Tonawanda City Market, the 2023 first-place winner, said in the release. “From the farmers, vendors, media, community, businesses, and people both young and old, everyone was all on board. As the Market Manager, for me it was all about the creation of a tremendous marketing opportunity that would generate great exposure for the market. It was such a beautiful thing to see how people came together to support our market.”

New this year, AFT staff will be on the road popping up at farmers markets across the country and new AFMC merchandise will be up for grabs for everyone through a sweepstakes with Edible Communities.

AFT has implemented modified rules for the 2024 AFMC, which includes vote buying being strictly prohibited and enforcing respectful behavior among all participants.

The AFMC database and interactive map on markets.farmland.org is one of the largest listings of farmers markets, containing more than 7,000 market entries.

AFT takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through its No Farms, No Food message.

Since its 1980 founding, the Chevy Chase, Maryland-based organization has helped permanently protect more than 6.8 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmental farming practices on millions of additional acres and supported thousands of farm families, according to the release.

 

 



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