According to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s newly released 2011 National Farmers Markets Directory, markets are on the rise and Ohio’s number – 278 reported farmers markets – is up 31% when comparing 2011 to 2010.
Across the country, USDA reports there 1,000 newly reported farmers markets this year for a national total of 7,175. In 2010 USDA reported 6,132 farmers markets. Ohio’s number of markets and percentage increase landed the state in USDA’s top 10 list of states for growth in markets. Ohio ranks ninth on the list.
“The remarkable growth in farmers markets is an excellent indicator of the staying power of local and regional foods,” said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. “These outlets provide economic benefits for producers to grow their businesses and also to communities by providing increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables and other foods. In short, they are a critical ingredient in our nation’s food system.”
USDA’s farmers market count is a voluntary survey with information provided to the agency by farmers market managers around the country. Market managers who participate in the survey get their market into the USDA’s national directory. There are likely more farmers markets around the nation and in Ohio than what’s captured in the USDA numbers.
For information and an interactive directory of farmers markets in Ohio, check out Ohio Proud.