2012 PRESS RELEASES
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December 13, 2012
VIRGINIA RANKS TENTH NATIONALLY FOR WINTER FARMERS’ MARKETS
Contact: Elaine J. Lidholm, 804.786.7686
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) is pleased to announce that Virginia has maintained its ranking in the national Top 10 list for the number of winter farmers’ markets. The number of winter farmers’ markets is increasing nationally and Virginia ranks tenth among all states in the number of such markets. Last year Virginia ranked ninth.
The 2012 top 10 states for winter farmers’ markets are: California with 284 markets, New York with 196, Florida with 105, Maryland with 70, Texas with 63, North Carolina with 62, Massachusetts with 59, Pennsylvania with 58, Georgia with 55 and Virginia with 53. Texas and Georgia are new to the Top 10 list.
According to the USDA, the number of winter farmers’ markets listed in USDA's National Farmers’ Market Directory has increased 52 percent, from 1,225 in 2011 to 1,864 in 2012. Winter markets now account for roughly 24 percent of the 7,865 farmers’ markets listed in the USDA national directory. Markets operating at least once between November and March are considered winter farmers markets.
"Winter farmers’ market offers additional opportunities for farmers to generate income year round," said VDACS Commissioner Matt Lohr "Consumers benefit, too, because the markets make a reliable supply of local food available regardless of the season." In addition to the jams, jellies, honey, milk, eggs, cheese and meat products, consumers can find a variety of fresh Virginia grown produce during the winter months, including apples, greens/spinach, herbs and sweet potatoes. Many winter farmers’ markets also feature Virginia grown flowers, plants and even Christmas trees.
Click here for a list of Virginia’s winter farmers’ markets. Lohr encourages any markets that operate at least one winter or holiday market to contact VDACS to add their market to the list. Market Managers should call VDACS’ Division of Marketing at 804.225.3663 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.