American Farmland Trust Reveals Top Ranked Farmers Markets in America
Wednesday marked the end of American Farmland Trust’s annual summer-long Farmers Market Celebration an effort to encourage shoppers across the nation to endorse their local farmers market as Best in Class, rallying support for local farms and family farmers.
“Farmers markets are critical for new and beginning farmers,” says Susan Sink, Vice President of Development & External Relations. “Family farmers selling directly to consumers at farmers markets have a nearly 10 percent greater chance of staying in business than those selling goods through traditional retail. And when family farmers thrive, our communities thrive.”
American Farmland Trust encouraged anyone who believed they had the best farmers market in the country to endorse their market in four categories: Focus on Farmers, Healthy Food for All, Pillar of the Community and Champion for the Environment. Markets with the most endorsements were also ranked in a Peoples Choice category.
The top five farmers markets for People’s Choice nationwide included:
1. Winter Garden Farmers Market – Winter Garden, FL
2. Orlando Farmers Market at Lake Eola – Orlando, FL
3. Charlottesville City Market – Charlottesville, VA
4. Williamsburg Farmers Market – Williamsburg, VA
5. Fort Pierce Farmers Market – Fort Pierce, FL
“While farmers markets are gaining popularity every year, keeping family farmers on farmland remains a nationwide challenge,” Sink says. “Many farmers struggle to stay financially afloat and face growing pressures to sell their land for development.”
Every hour, America loses more than 40 acres of farmland to development, taking with it the fresh foods, critical wildlife habitat and bucolic scenery that make up the patchwork of America.
American Farmland Trust has worked tirelessly to stop the farmland loss trend.
Since its founding in 1980, American Farmland Trust has helped permanently protect more than five million acres of farmland from development nationwide and implemented conservation practices on millions more. Additionally, American Farmland Trust actively works to keep more farmers on the land by linking next generation farmers to farmland, championing women landowners and educating farmers on conservation techniques.
To visit the full list of top markets nationwide, visit www.lovemyfarmersmarket.org.