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Celebrating Minnesota Farmers Market Week

Gov. Tim Walz kicked off the celebration Aug. 4 at Saint Paul Farmers’ Market.

Paula Mohr, Editor, The Farmer

August 12, 2019

7 Slides

Farmers markets in Minnesota and across the U.S. were recognized last week with proclamations and activities marking Farmers’ Market Week held from Aug. 4-10.

At the downtown Saint Paul Farmers’ Market on Aug. 4, Gov. Tim Walz and Thom Petersen, Department of Agriculture commissioner, joined partners from the Minnesota Farmers’ Market Association and Minnesota Farmers Union for a special program that highlighted the importance of local fresh food markets.

“We have around 190 farmers markets around the state,” Petersen said, adding that he frequents markets around his hometown of Pine City. “I like to see the optimism and diversity in growers at my local market and here, too.” MDA encourages growers through its various programs and helps market them through the Minnesota Grown Directory, he added.

Walz shared a proclamation, declaring Aug. 4-10 as Minnesota Farmers Market Week. He acknowledged the impact of all farms — big to small — for revitalizing rural communities. Farmers markets help build community connections and make locally grown foods more accessible, he said.

“We don’t have to divide ourselves between those who are concerned about sustainability and those who work the land,” Walz said. “They are one in the same in so many cases.”

Walz added that it wasn’t that many years ago that Minnesota’s No. 1 export by volume was topsoil.

“That is no longer true because of better [conservation] practices and because of interfacing with MDA and the University of Minnesota,” Walz said. “Farmers markets epitomize that sense of one Minnesota … and that we can sustainability produce an abundant food supply.”

Gary Wertish, Minnesota Farmers Union president, noted that MFU is a long-time promoter of local foods and connecting consumers with farmers. He highlighted the upcoming Minnesota State Fair and MFU’s Minnesota Cooks event as an example. Since 2003, Minnesota Cooks has brought farmers and cooks to the stage for conversation at the fair. Audience members are treated to food samples, too. This year’s event is Aug. 25.

National Farmers Market Week is held annually in early August and sponsored by USDA. The week highlights the important role farmers markets play in the nation’s food system and gives local markets the opportunity to showcase the meaningful impacts they make in their communities.

To get your copy of MDA’s Minnesota Grown Directory, visit minnesotagrown.com/order-minnesota-grown-directory or call 1-800-657-3878.

About the Author(s)

Paula Mohr

Editor, The Farmer

Mohr is former editor of The Farmer.

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