Agriculture

Celebrate Maryland Farmers Market Week

Guest feature: Megan Guilfoyle is a Public Information Officer for the Maryland Department of Agriculture. Follow along with MDA @MdAgDept and Maryland’s Best @MdsBest.

Maryland Farmers Market Week is August 5-11, coinciding with the 19th annual National Farmers Market Week. The Maryland Department of Agriculture encourages citizens to celebrate the week by visiting farmers markets and buying local products. Find a farmers market near you by visiting the Maryland’s Best website.

The growing consumer demand for locally-grown products is evident at both the state and national level. The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service began the National Farmers Market Directory in 1994. Since then, the number of markets voluntarily listed has grown from 1,755 to more than 8,700 across the country.

There are currently more than 120 farmers markets in Maryland—including at least one in each county and Baltimore City. These markets are important economic drivers for the state’s agriculture industry. Maryland farmers markets generated $53 million dollars in total sales, with more than 2.3 million consumers visiting the markets in 2016, according to a 2016 survey by the Maryland Department of Agriculture and the Maryland Farmers Market Association.

Approximately 260 Maryland farmers participate annually in the Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) for Women, Infants, Children (WIC) and Seniors. Nearly half of the markets also participate in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) – formerly known as food stamps. These programs help expand access for low-income Marylanders to be able to purchase fresh produce at Maryland farmers markets.

Join the celebration online and help promote National Farmers Market Week and Maryland Farmers Market Week on social media using #FarmersMarketWeek, #LoveMyMarket or #BuyLocalMD.

For more information on farmers markets in your area, visit Maryland’s Best or call 410-841-5770.

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Megan Guilfoyle

Megan Guilfoyle