For many of us, the start of summer means a visit to our local farmers’ market for some of the best produce we’ll have all year. Do you have a favorite market? Earlier last week, American Farmland Trust asked local markets to sign up to participate in a contest that could ultimately name them one of “America’s Favorite Farmers’ Markets.” The summer-long competition aims to see which farmers’ markets can generate the most votes from their customers. The goal of the contest is to promote the role that farmers’ markets play in keeping family farmers on the land.
American Farmland Trust holds this annual contest to raise national awareness about the importance of buying fresh food from local farms. “Farmers’ markets offer a great way for consumers to support local farms and farmers,” said American Farmland Trust President Jon Scholl in a recent press release. “In addition to providing access to fresh, seasonal foods, farmers’ markets help strengthen our ties to the land where our food is grown and the people who grow it.”
The 2012 America’s Favorite Farmers’ Markets contest has been expanded to include all 7,175 markets that are listed in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Farmers Market Directory. So far, more than 4,500 people have cast their vote. Last year, more than 94,000 votes were counted in four categories: small, medium, mid-size and large markets.
According to the contest rules, people can vote for as many participating farmers’ markets as they choose, but can only vote for each market once. Voting runs through midnight on Monday September 3 — vote now!