August 3, 2016
In Washington, the state department of agriculture and the state farmers market association are teaming up to promote farmers markets as a way to encourage consumers to shop at those local-focused stands.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, has proclaimed Washington Farmers Market Week encouraging people to taste the produce of local farms in their peak season.
Washington state declares the week of Aug. 7 to Aug. 13 as Farmers Market Week. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Adds Washington State Farmers Market Association Executive Director Karen Kinney: "Whether you are looking for an adventure close to home or want to shop like a local while on vacation, farmers markets have something for everyone to enjoy. Vendor tables are overflowing with tomatoes, corn, melons, peaches, greens and peppers and even kohlrabi! Surprise your family and friends with meals prepared with fresh market ingredients."
Washington boasts about 170 markets spread across 36 of the state's 39 counties. In that proclamation, Gov. Inslee notes a host of benefits that the markets profit including fresh food for families, access to produce for families on assistance, since many markets now accept benefits like WIC, Senior Farmers Market checks and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
And for farmers, it's a way to sell directly to the consumer.
WSFMA reports that the markets also provide broad economic benefits. They organization, along with Washington State University, did research that found sales at just 115 WSFMA member markets surpassed $44 million in 2015, averaging $406,000 per market.
Source: Washington State Department of Agriculture; Washington State Farmers Market Association
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