For many Americans, the start of summer means a visit to the farmers market. Beginning at noon on Friday, farmers market shoppers throughout the nation can vote for their favorite markets at www.votemyfarmersmarket.org during American Farmland Trust’s 4th annual America’s Favorite Farmers Markets™ contest.
The summer-long competition aims to see which farmers markets can generate the most votes from their customers. The goal of the contest is to promote the role that farmers markets play in keeping family farmers on the land.
"Shopping at farmers markets is one my favorite parts of the summer," said American Farmland Trust President Jon Scholl. “In addition to the freshest local foods, farmers markets offer a great way for consumers to get to know the farmers who grow their food.”
The 2012 America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest has been expanded to include all 7,175 markets that are listed in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Farmers Market Directory. As part of the contest, a $1,000 Farmers Market Inspiration Award, sponsored by the Farmers Market Coalition, will be presented to a farmer showing the greatest dedication to his/her market.
“American Farmland Trust is delivering an extremely valuable service by going above and beyond to educate the public about the value and importance of preserving farmland,” said Howard Herman, manager of the Falls Church (Va.) Farmers Market.
According to the contest rules, people can vote for as many participating farmers markets as they choose, but can only vote for each market once. Voting runs through midnight on Monday, Sept. 3, when one small, one medium, one mid-size, and one large market will win the title of “America’s Favorite Farmers Market” for 2012. The winning markets will be featured in the media and will be honored at local celebrations organized by American Farmland Trust.
And don't forget to for Patch's Summer 2012 Readers' Choice contest.
Where: Downtown Chester Village
When: Sundays, June 17 to October 21
Times: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: East Haddam Town Grange Hall
When: Wednesdays, June 20 to October 31
Times: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Higganum Green
When: Fridays, June 1 to October 26
Times: 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Middletown Farmers Market
Where: South Green on Old Church Street, Middletown
Dates: July 14 through October
Times: Tuesday and Friday, 8 a.m. to noon
WIC Coupons accepted
For more information about the 2012 America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest or to vote, visit www.votemyfarmersmarket.org.
American Farmland Trust is the nation’s leading conservation organization dedicated to protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land. Since its founding in 1980 by a group of farmers and citizens concerned about the rapid loss of farmland to development, AFT has helped save millions of acres of farmland from development and led the way for the adoption of conservation practices on millions more.
AFT’s national office is located in Washington, DC. Phone: 202-331-7300. For more information, visit www.farmland.org.