VDACS News Releases
August 6, 2023
Celebrate Virginia Farmers Markets - August 6 - 12
Contact: Michael Wallace
Governor Glenn Youngkin has proclaimed August 6 – 12, 2023 as Farmers Market Week in Virginia. The proclamation recognizes how the nearly 250 farmers markets in the state provide locally grown food to Virginia communities, create sales opportunities for local agricultural producers, generate revenue for local economies, and help to improve food access.
August is prime season for Virginia produce, and farmers markets throughout the Commonwealth are overflowing with Virginia grown produce and meats. Consumers can expect to find produce items such as green beans, berries, tomatoes, sweet corn, peaches, peppers, potatoes, eggplants, onions, carrots and more. In addition, many farmers markets offer fresh Virginia Grown beef, poultry, pork, and seafood for sale. Consumers can search for a local farmers market at www.virginiagrown.com or at https://vafma.org/virginia-markets. Consumers should call ahead to learn about each farmers market’s current hours of operation.
“The economic impacts of Virginia farmers markets include direct benefits to farmers and affiliated businesses, while also helping to stimulate the local economy by keeping dollars in the community and preserving farmland through economic viability,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr. “Farmers markets increase access to a healthy food environment with an abundance of locally grown produce that helps support fresh fruit and vegetable consumption, particularly in food deserts across Virginia.”
Over 100 farmers markets in Virginia accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, which allows shoppers to purchase fresh, Virginia-grown products. The Virginia Fresh Match nutrition incentive program matches funds made available by SNAP benefits to help SNAP shoppers buy more healthy, local food at farmers markets. Many farmers’ markets also allow customers to redeem vouchers for nutritious produce through WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program.
“Farmers markets provide a great avenue for new and smaller farm operations to sell their products directly to consumers. In addition, farmers markets offer an excellent agritourism experience and provide vendors an opportunity to educate the public on agriculture, farming practices, and environmental stewardship,” said Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Joseph Guthrie. “I hope all Virginians use this week as an opportunity to visit farmers markets in Virginia and shop local.”
“Farmers markets play a vital role in helping to meet consumer demand for fresh, locally grown agricultural products and the desire for people to connect with where their food comes from,” said Virginia Farmers Market Association Executive Director Kim Hutchinson. “In addition to fresh produce and other agricultural products, farmers’ markets have become a central site for community engagement through entertainment, festivals, antique shows, plant sales, and other events.”
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