Contact:Erin Buckwalter, 802-434-4122 or email@example.com Direct Marketing & Community Food Security Coordinator at Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, Vermont Farmers’ Market Association Coordinator Abbey Willard, 802-828-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org Local Foods Administration at Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets
With over 70 farmers’ markets in the state, Vermont has good reason to celebrate National Farmers’ Market Week. From August 4-10, the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) and the Vermont Farmers’ Market Association (VTFMA) will be joining the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) and farmers’ markets across the state to observe how farmers’ markets bolster local economies, improve community health, and bring diverse groups of people together through a shared social space.
This year marks the 14th annual National Farmers Market Week. Since 2000, the number of farmers markets nationwide has grown more than 160%, from 2,863 markets to 7,864 in 2012. Vermont has seen similar growth numbers with more than double the markets today than 10 years ago. Farmers’ markets have become fresh food mainstays for shoppers throughout Vermont’s communities, all year round.
NOFA-VT, VTFMA, and VAAFM want to continue to strengthen markets around the state by showing support for Vermont farmers’ markets and raising awareness about the positive contributions they provide for communities across the state. This year, NOFA-VT will be setting up booths in various markets around the Green Mountain state, giving you a chance to let your farmers know how much they mean to you. Be on the lookout for Farm to Community mentors during National Farmers’ Market week and help us increase the number of successful markets in the state of Vermont!
NOFA-VT and VTFMA are also hosting the 5th annual National Farmers’ Market Week Film Challenge with a theme of appreciation for the great farmers and vendors that make our markets great! Details are available at nofavt.org/nfmw and winners will be announced August 5th.
VAAFM Secretary Chuck Ross will be joined by Vermont Representative Will Stevens for a visit to the Middlebury Farmers Market at Marble Works on Saturday August 3rd initiating the week’s celebrations. On the evening of Friday, August 9th, Governor Shumlin is planning to join VAAFM staff and market vendors at the Richmond Farmers Market on Volunteers Green. Support from these state officials demonstrates their ongoing acknowledgement of Vermont’s farmers’ market contribution to healthy local economies and vibrant communities.
In addition to celebrating markets, NOFA-VT provides technical assistance and support to farmers’ markets all year round. More than 65 of Vermont’s markets have received promotional, strategic planning, and/or infrastructure support through NOFA-VT programs. Many markets have also benefited from learning opportunities at the Direct Marketing Conference and regional networking meetings across the state. The VTFMA provides a statewide voice and promotion for Vermont’s farmers’ markets. The Vermont Agency of Agriculture's facilitates, supports, and encourages the growth and viability of agriculture while protecting the working landscape, human health, animal health, plant health, consumers and the environment.