Elvis Cordova (middle), USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs presents National Farmers Market Week proclamations to (left to right) Crofton Farmers Market managers Chad Houck and Scott Hariton. Maryland Department of Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder and Maryland Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary, Jim Eichhorst.
The demand for local food is strong and growing. To meet the growing demand, farmers market managers are becoming creative entrepreneurs who connect rural America to urban and suburban businesses.
Last week, during National Farmers Market Week, I had the pleasure of visiting Crofton Farmers Market in Crofton, Maryland, to recognize state and local efforts to bring fresh foods and economic growth into their community. During my visit, I was given a tour of the market by market managers, Chad Houck and Scott Hariton, who are business partners with a passion for their community. Read more »
Communities like Hamburg, New York, pictured above, joined USDA in celebrating National Farmers Market Week. Their chamber of commerce shared #marketfav after #marketfav on Twitter all week. Photo courtesy @HamburgChamber on Twitter.
National Farmers Market Week is a good example of why I say it’s an exciting time to be in agriculture. More than ever, all segments of the food industry are coming together to provide consumers with foods fresh from the farm, and farmers markets lead the way.
As I visited markets in Alexandria, La., and Greenwood, S.C.—and right here in Washington, D.C.—I saw firsthand the positive impact of farmers markets on the businesses and communities around them. And, through our 2015 Market Managers Survey results, we know that across the nation farmers markets are helping build businesses and bring communities together. Read more »
AMS helped to establish a meat processing plant on the Southern University campus, giving students hands-on learning and providing resources for USDA Meat Grading and Inspection trainings. AMS staff, Curtis Chisley, gives AMS Administrator Starmer (center) a tour of the facility and talked about a proposed expansion project to increase capacity.
Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to Louisiana with my Administrator, Elanor Starmer, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), and visit Southern University and A & M College (Southern), an 1890 Land Grant University and Historically Black College. Located on Scott’s Bluff overlooking the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, LA, the campus covers 512 acres, with an agricultural experimental station on an additional 372-acres just north of the main campus. It is at this university that AMS began a strong partnership in the mid 1980′s to help establish a Beginning Agricultural Youth Opportunities Unlimited (B.A.Y.O.U.) Program.
BAYOU provides an opportunity for high school students to gain “first hand” knowledge about career opportunities in Agriculture, Family and Consumer Sciences and related disciplines. With more than a third of career federal employees projected to be eligible for retirement in 2017, programs like B.A.Y.O.U. cultivate and nurture agricultural professionals for the future. Read more »
The pavilion, and the farmers market that uses it, is creating business opportunity and serving as a community resource. The planned site was originally a railroad station and inspired the design that mimics a train station to fit the historic character of the town.
Today, we celebrated National Farmers Market Week at Uptown Market in Greenwood, South Carolina, highlighting USDA support for the local food sector in South Carolina and across the country. Uptown Market Manager, Stephanie Turner, and Greenwood Mayor Welborn Adams joined us in thanking the farmers and vendors, and recognizing the great benefits their market has brought to the local community. The Uptown Market is a special place for USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), with a special connection to my program and work we do.
In 2013, AMS Architect, Fidel Delgado, got involved in providing technical assistance for the design and development of the new Uptown Market pavilion. We worked with city officials, businesses leaders and local farmers to understand the community needs for the farmers market. The planned site was originally a railroad station and inspired the design that mimics a train station to fit the historic character of the town. From our visit today, it is clear this market is creating business opportunity and serving as a community resource. Read more »
Farmers Markets: Building Businesses & Helping Communities highlights results from the 2015 Farmers Market Managers Survey. The full report of the data will be released later this year. (Click to view larger.)
National Farmers Market Week is the perfect time to reflect on the evolution we’ve witnessed in our nation’s local and regional food systems, and to celebrate the results of the public and private partnerships that have made success possible.
The local food sector represents more than $12 billion dollars per year in sales, according to industry estimates. That’s a lot of economic growth and opportunity for American producers and businesses. And, in the newly-released results of the 2015 survey of nearly 1,400 farmers market managers, we are able to see the direct benefits these markets provide to businesses and communities across the country. Read more »
Fresh tomatoes for sale at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Farmers Market celebration of the 2014 National Farmers Market Week at USDA in Washington, D.C. on Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. USDA photo by Ed Ragland.
I’m really looking forward to celebrating National Farmers Market Week. Farmers markets play a key role in developing food systems that help local grow economies. They bring people together, create bridges between rural and urban communities and increase access to locally-grown fruits and vegetables, providing healthier options for consumers across the country.
When Hurricane Katrina struck over a decade ago, New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward notoriously faced some of the worst devastation in our nations’ history. The floodwaters have long since subsided, but residents in this community are still struggling to rebuild the lives they knew before the storm. Read more »