Located in Virginia’s horse country, just an hour outside of Washington, DC, is the historic town of Middleburg. Deeply embedded in the town’s roots is a vibrant agricultural sector that is the driving force behind this small community’s success. Each Saturday morning from the spring through the fall, you can find a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and baked goods at the Middleburg Community Farmers Market (MCFM). Raising the market’s visibility is vital to its continued success, so the MCFM recently updated its information in the USDA’s 2014 National Farmers Market Directory – connecting customers to fresh, quality items produced by its local farmers.
The directory, maintained by the Agricultural Marketing Service, is designed to provide consumers with convenient access to information about your farmers market listing including: market locations, directions, operating times, product offerings, accepted forms of payment, and more. Thousands of farmers market managers around the country are taking a few minutes to update their market listing.
“Our goal is to provide local agriculturalists with a retail outlet for their products and give our area residents an opportunity to purchase fresh, quality products from the people who produce them,” said Cindy Pearson, Middleburg’s Economic Development Coordinator. “We also have a lot of tourists coming to town, so it’s important that they can find the market too.” That’s why she updates the information about the MCFM each year in the USDA National Farmers Market Directory.
Over 8,100 markets across the nation rely on the directory to help connect them to more customers. The database is voluntary and relies on input from farmers market managers, representatives from state farmers market organizations, and other key market personnel. Market listings can be added and updated by going to www.usdadirectoryupdate.com. It is a great tool to help farmers markets enhance their marketing efforts to consumers and build the local and regional food system.
Including your market details is a free way to tell people across the nation where and when your market is happening and the type of products available for sale. The directory receives nearly 2 million page views per year and is one of the USDA’s most popular consumer search engines. And with the release of our API (Application Programming Interface) last year, the directory also feeds market listings into mobile apps and websites that give consumers even more access to local foods. The Directory is also part of the USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass which illustrates federal involvement in local food development across the country.
If you are a market manager, join Cindy and include your market in the 2014 USDA National Farmers Market Directory today.