Farmers markets offer a direct-sales opportunity for growers, and while the U.S. Department of Agriculture proclaimed the first National Farmers Market Week in 1999, it’s official congressional resolution was adopted today.
After 24 years, National Farmers Market Week will officially be celebrated this year Aug. 6 through 12, after the resolution, S. Res. 324, passed through the 118th Congress.
The bipartisan resolution sponsored by U.S. Senators Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) recognizes the vital role that farmers markets play in bringing communities together, supporting livelihoods, and enriching the lives of millions of Americans, from farmers and food producers to consumers. The resolution was adopted unanimously by the Senate.
Farmers markets build community, bolster local agricultural economies, and improve consumer health and wellness, including for low-income Americans who receive federal nutrition benefits. They also help bridge urban and rural communities, enhancing public understanding of farming and ranching.
“As the second largest agricultural state, farmers markets are an important source of farm fresh food for families across Iowa,” Ernst said. “When Iowans buy and sell close to home, they support local economies, promote healthy communities, and put hard earned money back into producers’ pockets. I’m honored to work with my colleagues to celebrate National Farmers Market Week.”
Farmers markets have grown exponentially across the country over the past few decades, rising from 1,755 markets in 1994 to 8,771 in 2019. In 2020, they accounted for $1.7 billion in income for American farmers.
“Our farmers markets nourish our neighborhoods, strengthen our local economies, and help cultivate relationships between growers and consumers,” Padilla said. “We cherish these spaces as a vibrant and dependable source of nutrition and community. I am proud to celebrate National Farmers Market Week and to support our local farmers, who feed our families and bring us together.”