- Category: News
- Published: Sunday, 03 August 2014 15:17
- Written by Larry Lewis
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$16 Million in Annual Sales Gives Local Farmers Something to Celebrate
During National Farmers Market Week Aug. 3 - 9
Utah farmers markets are enjoying the benefits of a strong consumer attitude about foods grown and raised locally. This year’s National Farmers Market Week (Aug. 3 – 9) will celebrate the availability of an abundance of high quality fruits, vegetables, meats and grains offered at Utah’s farmers markets.
According to the USDA, Utahns spent nearly $16 million in 2012 (up 58% since 2007) in direct sales at the more than 1,800 farms and ranches (including farmers markets) that sell directly to consumers.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared August 3 through 9, 2014, "National Farmers Market Week". Throughout the week, Utah will celebrate our state’s 45 farmers markets, farmers who make them possible and the communities that host them.
“Visiting a local farmers market is a great way to support local agricultural producers and companies, and keep Utah’s economy strong,” said Utah Commissioner of Agriculture and Food, LuAnn Adams.
Farmers Market week kicks off locally on Sunday August 3, 2014 with the Wasatch Front Farmers Market at Wheeler Farm. Dozens of Utah’s Own food companies, farms and ranches will have booths at the market, and be available to talk about the important role farmers markets play in bringing people closer to the source of their food. Market organizers are sponsoring a farmers market photo contest. “We are encouraging people to take Farmers' Market selfles with their favorite farmer, vendor, or food and tagging #wasatchfrontfarmersmarketselfie on Facebook.,” said Maryann Alston, director Wasatch Front Farmers Market.
The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food’s Utah’s Own Program promotes local food companies, farms and ranches throughout Utah. While many of those companies and agriculture producers sell some of their products in other states or countries, local markets are a critical part of their business.
“Farmers markets are a big part of our business,” said Thayne Tagge, owner, Tagge’s Famous Fruits and Veggie Farm. “Our business model is mostly direct sells.” Tagge’s also has several farm stands throughout the Wasatch Front, and weekly subscription harvest share community supported agriculture program.
According to USDA, the number of farmers markets across the country nearly doubled, from 4,685 in 2008 to 8,144 in 2013. While not all direct sales farms to consumers comes from farmers markets, direct sales have increased in Utah nearly 58 percent from 2007 to 2012, accounting for $15.9 million in 2012. In Utah, 45 markets appear on UDAF’s Utah’s Own website.
Salt Lake City will also be celebrating farmers market week. “We are opening our Harvest Market on Tuesday, August 5th, said Kim Angeli, Downtown Alliance. This is a small, shop and go, produce and farm market.
Another popular farmers market, the Utah Farm Bureau Farmers Market in Murray Park, which runs Friday and Saturday each week, opened a week ago. It is one of the few farmers only outdoor markets in the State.
Depending where you live in Utah, you could possibly attend a farmers market every day of the week, except Monday.
A list of farmers markets throughout Utah is available on the Utah’s Own website:
utahsown.utah.gov/farmersmarkets. The UDAF encourages all Utahns to visit a local farmers market at least once this season. Most seasonal markets run through September, with a few running through the end of October.
Another popular program of the UDAF is Utah’s Own
Utah’s Own’s mission is to create a strong consumer culture to buy local agriculture and food products. The program partners with local Small Business Development Councils, Chambers of Commerce and Economic Development Offices. This helps Utah’s Own deliver its message to the food-oriented businesses, restaurants, and retail in Utah.
Utah’s Own has recently held several successful Economic Summits in Box Elder Tooele, Kane and Cache Counties where audiences came to hear tips on how to grow their companies and the area economy. We are excited to bring the same opportunities to the area growers, producers, and processors of food. All area businesses, including restaurants, caterers and owners/managers of retail stores and outlets are encouraged to attend these event.
Our next summits are set for Monticello and the Price area.
Contact: Larry Lewis (801) 538-7104
Cell (801) 514-2152
Date: August 3, 2014
posted: Aug. 3, 2014