Just in case you haven't been keeping up with the promotional weeks pronounced by government declaration, this is Kansas Farmers' Market Week, the first week of a whole month of celebrating Farmers' Market Month.
Farmers' markets have gained popularity in recent years, partly because a national push to connect consumers with farmers and encourage people to eat more fruits and vegetables and buy more of their food from local farmers.
From an economic standpoint, farmers' markets keep more consumer dollars in local communities and give local growers more opportunity to sell their products.
Gov. Sam Brownback and the Kansas Department of Agriculture have provided statutory support for farmers' markets with the Farmers' Markets Promotion Act, which establishes a central registration of markets and limits the legal liability of registered farmers' markets. Registered farmers' markets will have access to marketing, outreach and advocacy efforts through From the Land of Kansas, the state's agricultural trademark program, and the ability to receive benefits from federal grant dollars awarded to KDA on behalf of Kansas farmers' markets.
"Farmers' markets play an important role in agricultural advocacy and rural economic growth," said Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman. "From 1987 to 2012, the number of farmers' markets in Kansas increased from 26 to 118. As we see this segment of agriculture continues to grow in the future, the Farmers' Market Promotion Act will enable KDA to partner with the markets and help them be more successful."
Resources for locating farmers' markets
To locate local farmers' markets, visit the Kansas Farmers' Market website. For more information on how to register a farmers' market and receive benefits for the market please visit the From the Land of Kansas website.
At the national level, USDA is celebration National Farmer's Market Week with the announcement of the number of markets registered in the 2013 National Farmers market Directory.
The Farmers Market Directory, a voluntary online database, identifies new farmers markets, the states with the highest number of markets in operation, and the total number of farmers markets that have registered throughout the United States.