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farmers market directory

USDA Meets Digital Government Strategy Milestone with Mobile and Open Data Solutions

As part of USDA’s 12-month Digital Government Strategy deliverables we are sharing several new mobile and open data projects that help us deliver 21st century service to you, our customers and stakeholders. These new tools and open data efforts will enable USDA customers, to more easily access critical programs and services anywhere, any time and on any device, in addition to stimulating further innovations:

New API Helps Satisfy the Nation's App-etite for Farmers Markets

America is developing quite an app-etite. The number of U.S. smartphone owners is approaching 130 million, resulting in more and more demand for mobile access to our information. Combine that with the increase in consumers wanting access to fresh, local products, and it’s obvious why there’s such a high demand for the data in USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory.

7,175 Ways to Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food: Visit a Farmers Market

As the weekend approaches, there are things we all look forward to – sleeping in late, spending time with family, splashing in the neighborhood pool, and picnics with friends.  For me, I look forward to visiting my local farmers market.  It is a time for me and my urban-raised children to connect with local farmers and thank them for their hard work in providing the food we eat every day.  In the DC metro region, it’s the height of tomato season here.  I find strange and luscious heirloom tomato varieties in the farmers market that I never see in my grocery store.  Always trying to expand my children’s palate, the farmers market provides a great place to taste fresh foods.  The farmers cheer as my children try new fruits and vegetables.  The infectious excitement and fun at the market facilitates my efforts to get my kids to gobble up healthy food.

USDA Plants the Seeds to Help Mississippi Grow

This September we announced the 2010 awards for our Specialty Crop Block Grants (SCBG), a program geared toward increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables by offering grants to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), which administers the program, funds projects across a broad spectrum of activity, such as research related to increasing crop yields, state marketing campaigns like “Minnesota Grown,”  and improving supply chain management for emerging local and regional food systems.  These grants can propel burgeoning projects to the next level and help drive local economies and assist farmers.  In many cases producers have benefited by diversifying their farms to include specialty crops, such as blueberries and pistachios, to meet consumer demand.

Farmers Markets as an Engine of Revitalization

“It is our belief that by supporting our local farmers today, we can ensure that there will be farms in our community tomorrow.” - Kent Myers, former City of Hot Springs Manager

Recently Hot Springs, Arkansas dedicated its new Farmers Market Pavilion at the Historic Downtown Farmers Market in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  This dedication is the culmination of years of effort that began with a Farmers Market Promotion Program grant in 2006 from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service.

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Secretary Tom Vilsack Declares National Farmers Market Week August 1-7, 2010

Written by Rayne Pegg, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service

The Secretary of Agriculture has officially declared August 1-7 2010 as National Farmers Market Week.

National Farmers Market Week is an opportunity to celebrate the thriving farmers markets in your community.  It’s a time to specifically honor the market vendors who tend the farms, grow the produce, raise the meat, bake the bread and prepare the other fresh local products you find at your farmers market. It’s a time to thank the market managers who organize and run farmers markets smoothly so you can enjoy the goods vendors have to offer.  It’s a time to benefit from the community pride and economic opportunities farmers markets build in towns and cities across the country.