(RENO, NV), July 31, 2015 — National Farmers Market Week celebrates the contributions that local farm families make to the economy, their communities and the many ways they improve access to fresh, healthy, locally grown food for everyone.

Nevada State Farm Service Agency Promotes National Farmers Market Week

(RENO, NV), July 31, 2015 — National Farmers Market Week celebrates the contributions that local farm families make to the economy, their communities and the many ways they improve access to fresh, healthy, locally grown food for everyone.

This year it’s easier than ever to meet your farmers. USDA's online Local Food Directories help you locate farmers markets and farms near you including 8,400 farmers markets, 1300 on-farm markets, 660 CSAs, and 150 food hubs nation-wide. See them all at www.usdalocalfooddirectories.com.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack signed the 16th Annual Farmers Market Week proclamation saying: “Farmers Markets play a key role in developing local and regional food systems that support farmers and help grow rural communities. They bring people together, connection rural and urban communities and providing Americans with fresh, healthy food.”

Demand for local food continues to grow

  • According to a recent report, local food sales by farmers grew to as much as $11.7 billion in 2014, up from about $6.1 billion.
  • USDA research confirms the local food sector continues to mature with more farmers participating in food hubs, selling to major grocery stores, and benefiting from interest in the Farm-to-Fork movement by selling direct to restaurants and schools.
  • More than 6,400 farmers and farmers markets now accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) creating a win-win-win situation by expanding the customer base for their farmers, giving SNAP recipients access to healthy foods, and encouraging the sale and consumption of locally- sourced produce.

Bottom line

  • Expanded demand for locally grown food provides new business opportunities for farmers, ranchers, and food entrepreneurs.
  • Communities that have built farmers markets near other local businesses also say they wind up attracting increased foot traffic and customers to nearby brick and mortar stores and restaurants.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.