How was your National Farmers Market Week?

Ours was great! AND busy keeping up with all of the amazing media shared by markets and market advocates on all types of platforms.

So far, we’ve counted over 2,000 shares and retweets of our posts; last week our staff had numerous interviews with media including mentions in Politico and USA Today. Food and farming leaders such as American Farm Bureau, FarmAid, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, National Farmers Union are just a few examples of those that shared our information about farmers markets on social media. U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.)  and Senator Franken (D-MN) were two of the legislators who showed their support for markets by attending one over the weekend, and at least four states issued their own state proclamation around NFMW.

The crowd at Market Square Farmers Market in Knoxville, TN during NFMW.

We saw letters to the editor about market’s impacts in all corners of the U.S., including a much-needed letter from former Iowa Senator Tom Harkin’s office about his work 15 years ago while Chairman of the Senate Ag Committee to include the FMPP program in the 2002 Farm Bill and how it must remain fully funded.

I wish we knew how many likes each of your communications received using our graphic and research materials and how many I ♥︎ Farmers Markets tattoos were proudly applied to sweaty skin this week! Although based on the number of packages FMC Membership Coordinator Liz Comiskey shipped out in the last 2 weeks, it’s a lot.

This is just one trip to the post office (of a few per day) for FMC Membership Coordinator Liz Comiskey in support of markets’ preparation for NFMW.

If you did record how much attention your postings received, please send it to honesta@farmersmarketcoalition.org, so we can show the positive impacts of the work happening across 8600 + communities.

This is the kind of detailed communication engagement that we are hoping to support year round with our Farmers Market Metrics (FMM) materials and site. The graphics are created in FMM when you add enough data and can be quickly pushed to social media sites or downloaded for embedding onto websites and more. Moreover, the effort to collect and use data for a market does not have to be painstaking or lengthy; for example, simply by calculating the distance traveled for your market vendors from production to tent offers a compelling contrast to industrial food:

Williamsburg VA data from 2016.

So keep up the good work and check out the Farmers Market Metrics program materials. More updates are on their way for the FMM training materials and the downloadable resources which are available to everyone to use right away without any fee.

The subscription site for managing and reporting all of the data should be open to more markets by the end of the year. Look for that to be announced in our newsletter and on social media.

Wishing you great numbers,

Dar Wolnik FMC Senior Researcher | darlene@farmersmarketcoalition.org

Marian Weaver FMM Program Manager | marian@farmersmarketcoalition.org