The results are in, and the four most popular farmers’ markets in the United States have been identified. “More than 90,000 people from across the country voted for their favorite farmers markets this summer,” said Jane Kirchner, senior director of marketing and communications for American Farmland Trust (AFT), a Washington-based conservation organization dedicated to saving America’s farm and ranch land, promoting environmentally sound farming practices and supporting a sustainable future for farms. “And in the last three weeks of the promotion, we’ve seen the top 20 markets in each category change positions, sometimes daily.”
AFT launched the online contest to promote the economic and social value of farmers’ markets in communities, as well as to publicize the need for consumers and communities to recognize the necessity of local farm and ranchland to produce fresh, healthy and local food.
“Customers can visit our website and learn the top 20 markets in each of contest’s four market categories,” added Kirchner. The top markets for each category are:
- Boutique Markets (15 or fewer vendors): North Port Farmers & Craft Market, North Port, Fla.
- Small Markets (16-30 vendors): City of Rockford Farmers Market, Rockford, Mich.
- Medium Markets (31-55 vendors): Historic Lewes Farmers Market, Lewes, Del.
- Large Markets (56 or more vendors): Las Cruces Farmers & Crafts Market, Las Cruces, N.M.
The top four markets will each receive a shipment of personalized No Farms No Food recyclable tote bags, along with such other prizes as free promotional materials from FrontEnd Graphics. The top four markets will also be featured on the award-winning food website Epicurious.com.
“The America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest is not about being the best, it is about celebrating the unique qualities of farmers markets everywhere and to help increase awareness of the importance of supporting farmers economically and saving farmland.” explains Kirchner. “We hope that all of the markets have seen increased interest in, and visitors to, their markets as a result of the promotion, and that they will participate in next year’s contest.”
Additionally, the top 20 farmers markets overall in each state will receive a prize package including a certificate and “I Support My Farmers Market” promotional stickers from contest sponsor Websticker.com. The listings of the top-20 favorite farmers markets by state and the category winners can be found on the contest website, www.farmland.org/vote.
“Supporting local farmers is a fun and fulfilling way to help save America’s precious farmland. We hope farmers, chefs and foodies will participate in AFT’s next campaign, 'Dine Out for Farms,' the week of Oct. 16-22, and continue the momentum of support for farms by dining at participating restaurants around the country,” noted Kirchner.