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Press Releases

October 24, 2017
How Much Do Virginians Love Their Farmers’ Markets?
Plenty, says the Farm. Fresh. Pledge! contest
Contact:Elaine Lidholm, 804.786.7686

Farmers’ markets are an important part of Virginia’s local food system and are a valuable food resource for many of its consumers. Customers who participated in the Virginia Grown Farm. Fresh. Pledge! Program, sponsored by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, put their money where their mouths were and spent nearly $67,000 at Virginia markets in the summer season.

The pledge program concluded in September, although many markets will be open through November and even later. This year, Virginia’s farmers’ market managers submitted a total of 478 punch cards from shoppers at 32 of the state’s 250 markets. With each card representing a sales figure of $140, the promotion resulted in at least $66,920 spent at Virginia farmers' markets, and that doesn’t begin to count the shoppers who did not pick up a pledge card.

The winning market, The City of Manassas Farmers’ Market, collected 129 punch cards throughout the season. The Manassas market will be open Saturdays through November 18. The Farm. Fresh. Pledge! rewards program was run by local markets throughout Virginia and shoppers who spent at least $10 a week at participating markets over the course of the summer were eligible to enter to win a Virginia Grown gift basket. Baskets were awarded in June, July, August and September at farmers’ markets in Williamsburg, Onancock, Manassas and Salem.

Find farmers’ markets at, or follow VDACS on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram for more information. See photos from markets across the state on Flickr.

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