The Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) joins markets across the country in celebrating National Farmers Market Week from August 6-12.
MIFMA began in 2007 and currently supports over 520 members, with a mission to advance farmers markets to create a thriving marketplace for local food and farm products. Over the past ten years, MIFMA has been focusing on professional development and educational opportunities, increasing food access, promoting Michigan farmers and farmers markets, and policy advocacy.
“Farmers markets across the country thrive when they are a reflection of the community in which they are based,” explains Amanda Shreve, MIFMA’s Program Director. “Our association thrives, in part, because we are part of a nationwide community of organizations and individuals who support local food systems and the multitude of benefits they can have for the health and well-being of families, the community, and the economy. We are happy to join with this community to celebrate National Farmers Market Week!”
As demand for local food continues to grow, so have the opportunities for America’s farmers to market fresh food directly to the consumer. According to statistics recently released by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), farmers markets and farm stands account for roughly $2 billion of the $3 billion that Americans spend annually on farm-direct products.
Farmers markets are more than just an outlet for fresh produce and friendly farmers. According to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics, these grassroots venues have increased in number nationally by over 60% since 2009 to more than 8,500 today. These markets preserve farmland, stimulate local economies, increase access to fresh nutritious food, improve community health, and promote sustainability. For example, growers selling locally create thirteen full-time farm operator jobs per $1 million in revenue earned while those that do not sell locally only create three.
MIFMA has been sharing in the national celebration through social media and in their shopper newsletter! Use the hashtag #FarmersMarketsMI when shopping at your favorite Michigan market. You can find a farmers market near you by using our find a farmers market map feature www.mifma.org/findafarmersmarket. Check out MIFMA’s Facebook Page to learn more www.facebook.com/michiganfarmersmarketassociation or subscribe to our shopper newsletter www.eepurl.com/cOwsm