American Farmland Trust (AFT) has opened the voting to select America’s Favorite Farmers’ Markets at www.farmland.org/vote. The online contest is a nationwide challenge to see which of America’s farmers’ markets can rally the most support from their communities.
On Aug. 31, one large, medium, small and boutique farmers’ market will win the title of America’s Favorite Farmers’ Market for 2010. With the title comes a promotional package including free printing and design services, a shipment of No Farms No Food tote bags, and more.
According to AFT’s Kristy Bohnet, “Farmers’ markets are a vital link between local farms and their supporting communities, providing fresh and healthy food and an experience that cannot be matched anywhere else. By partnering with farmers’ market managers, American Farmland Trust is encouraging consumers to consider the importance of farmland and to support local farmers.”
Market shoppers can cast their vote in support of their region’s farmers, community and market by logging on to www.farmland.org/vote.
“Farmers’ markets are one of the best ways for consumers to support local farms and farmers,” said Julia Freedgood, managing director for AFT’s Growing Local Initiative. “A great way to find seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, farmers’ markets also support public health and economic development opportunities in our communities.”
The 2007 U.S. Agricultural Census reports a 49-percent growth in sales from farms directly to consumers since 2002, representing $1.2 billon that stayed in local communities. But at the same time, more than 800,000 acres of farmland are developed each year – most around cities where there is the greatest demand for local food. “We need to make the connection: there’s no local food without local farms and farmland,” said Freedgood.
American Farmland Trust is a national nonprofit organization working with farmers and ranchers to protect the land, produce a healthier environment and build successful communities. As the nation’s leading advocate for farm and ranch land conservation, AFT has ensured that more than 3 million acres of land stay bountiful and productive. AFT’s national office is located in Washington, D.C. The phone number is 202-331-7300; the Web site is www.farmland.org.
The Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association is California’s largest operator of Certified Farmers’ Markets, operating more than 60 Certified Farmers’ Markets weekly in the Bay Area during the peak summer months. Certified Farmers’ Markets are locations that offer only California-grown products sold directly to consumers by the farmers that grew, nurtured and harvested the crops. All PCFMA markets accept WIC FMNP (Woman Infant and Children Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program) coupons and EBT (the Golden State advantage) food stamp cards.
For more information on the Brentwood Farmers’ Market, call 800-949-FARM, 925-825-9090 or visit www.pcfma.com.