July Proclaimed Michigan’s “Farmers Market Month”

      Posted On: July 28, 2008

After walking through a sea of nearly 50 Michigan vendors at the “Buy Fresh, Buy Local” Select Michigan farmers market on the Capitol lawn Thursday, Governor Jennifer Granholm proclaimed July 2008 “Farmers Market Month” in Michigan.

If every Michigan resident spent just $10 on local food weekly at farm stands or farmers markets like this one, she said, it would generate more than $40 million each and ever week. Those dollars, because they are spent and received by local consumers and farmers, are more likely to stay in Michigan and support the local economy.

Granholm presented the proclamation to Elaine Brown, executive director of Michigan Food & Farming Systems – MIFFS, who co-sponsored the farmers market with the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA). Brown, along with Christine Lietzau and Don Koivisto of MDA, toured the market with the governor, who talked with vendors and bought some of the Michigan products.

Local farmers and specialty food producers from South Haven to Sault Ste. Marie, and everywhere in between, gathered there at the Capitol for the special farmers market to offer their locally grown, processed and manufactured products for sale. Fresh flowers were a big hit, with several vendors selling out early, and fruits and vegetables picked fresh from the field and orchard splashed color all over the Capitol lawn. Eggs, honey, sausage, wool products, grains, beans, spices, jams and jellies, baked goods, lamb, Lake Superior whitefish, potted plants and much more were among the other products filling buyers’ arms and bags as hundreds made their way through the aisles of vendors.

“This is the largest and most successful farmers market here yet,” said Brown of the fourth market that MIFFS and MDA have partnered to sponsor and put on. “We can’t wait to celebrate again on September 18 for the next Select Michigan farmers market at the Capitol.”

The farmers market is sponsored by the Michigan Department of Agriculture, Michigan Food and Farming Systems, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service, with additional support from the Michigan Farmers Market Association, the Food Bank Council of Michigan and Michigan farmers and specialty food producers.

Founded in 1998, MIFFS is a statewide membership organization (501c3) whose purpose is to promote diverse efforts that foster and sustain food and farming systems that improve economic, ecological and social well-being. MIFFS has been effective at establishing successful partnerships among producers, markets and institutions that have created more profitable, environmentally friendly food systems in Michigan.

The organization’s vision is based on the premise that agricultural productivity, environmental stewardship and profitability reinforce each other for the benefit of Michigan’s rural and urban communities. To learn more, please visit www.miffs.org or call (517) 432-0712.