American Farmland Trust is getting ready for the second-annual contest for “America’s Favorite Farmers Markets.” This nationwide contest will give farmers market customers an opportunity to vote for their favorite markets and show support for their local food communities – while promoting the connection between fresh and local food and the local farms and farmland that supply it.
The 2010 America’s Favorite Farmers Market contest is open for new farmers markets to register. This year AFT is offering a host of new prizes for market managers and customers, more tools to get larger crowds out to support farmers markets, and will be making a bigger impact for local farms and food in America! Voting starts June 1, so get ready, get out and love your farmers market. Farmers Markets that are interested in participating can sign-up now at www.farmland.org/marketmanager
When the 2010 America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest kicks off on June 1, customers will be able to choose their favorite farmers markets online at www.farmland.org/vote. Voting will be open from June 1 until Aug. 31, when winners will be announced. One large, medium, small, and boutique farmers market will win the title of America’s Favorite Farmers Market for 2010.
This year many new elements are sure to make the contest better than ever for farmers markets and their customers. New benefits for participating markets include access to the customizable, affordable and environmentally friendly printing services of, igreenprint, the official printing partner of the contest. As in last years contest, the winning markets will receive 500 No Farms No Food totebags, along with other prizes including free printing services from igreenprint and free graphic design services from Virginia based design firm, SQN Communications. In addtition, there is a fourth new “boutique” category for markets that have 15 or fewer vendors.
Farmers markets provide a vital connection from urban and suburban areas to surrounding local farms, providing fresh and healthy food and an experience that cannot be matched anywhere else. Farms near metropolitan areas produce 91% of the nation’s market value of fruit, 78% of vegetables, and 67% of dairy products. At the same time, however, every year America is losing more than one million acres of productive land to development – most of it around cities where there is greatest demand for local food. The success of farmers markets is crucial to reversing this trend, ensuring that we will all have access to excellent food from local farms.