American Farmland Trust announced the launch of its eleventh annual Farmers Market Celebration, which runs through Sept. 23. The celebration is a national effort to promote the importance of local food and the role that agriculture plays in our communities, while also raising awareness about the challenges facing America’s farmland and farmers.
“There is no better way to celebrate the people that feed us than by supporting your local farmers market. Since 2008, every summer, AFT has highlighted farmers and Americans eating healthy, locally grown foods to call attention to the important role that farmers markets play in communities across the nation,” says Alex Johnson, AFT member coordinator.
He continues, “The Farmers Market Celebration encourages marketgoers, farmers, and anyone else who believes in the power of local food to endorse their favorite market. At the end of the celebration, AFT will present awards to the top markets in each region of the country. AFT will also recognize a national People’s Choice winner from the top regional markets.”
AFT’s 2012 “Farming on the Edge” analysis showed the food we eat is often produced closest to urban communities — 81 percent of food sold directly to consumers (based on market value) comes from farms adjacent to metropolitan areas and small cities. Unfortunately, the land on which it is produced is the land most under pressure from development. To protect our society’s access to local food, AFT works to save the land that sustain us by protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices, and keeping farmers on the land.
As part of the celebration, AFT will showcase winning markets from past years and stories from patrons and farmers. Marketgoers can use #OnMyFork on social media to share experiences from their local market and bolster its chances of winning the People’s Choice honor. All summer long the celebration will highlight the importance of patronizing local farmers and ranchers and enjoying the freshness, nutritional value and flavor of local food.
To vote, post and share stories from your local farmers market, visit their website. The celebration is now open and closes on Sept. 23, 2019, at midnight ET.