National Farmers Market Week Kickoff this Weekend in D.C.

      Posted On: August 1, 2013

Contact: Jen O’Brien
(313) 303-6244

 July 30, 2013


National Farmers Market Week Kickoff this Weekend in D.C.

The Farmers Market Coalition (FMC), Columbia Heights Community Marketplace, Wholesome Wave and D.C. Greens will host a press conference on August 3rd at 10:00 am, where the USDA will announce the 2013 farmers market numbers. Every year, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service issues updates to the USDA National Farmers Market Directory, tracking the number of farmers markets in the United States. The directory also documents how many markets are offering electronic benefit transfer access for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) customers, and how many accept WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) coupons.

The past ten years have shown exponential growth in the number of farmers markets and the services they offer. In 2002, 3,137 farmers markets were listed in the USDA directory. In 2012, 7,864 farmers markets were listed—a 150% increase in ten years. The number of markets offering SNAP access has also increased dramatically, with 3,214 SNAP authorized markets 2012. Just three years ago, there were only 936 farmers markets authorized to accept SNAP benefits.

This year’s numbers are still under wraps, but trends indicate that 2013 will show continued growth. Whatever the exact number of markets currently operating this season, they are collectively having increasing impact across America. As markets take root in their communities, they become integral parts of local economies, food systems, and social support structures. FMC will be in D.C. at the launch of National Farmers Market Week to raise awareness of farmers market impacts: increasing access to fresh local foods, preserving farmland and rural livelihoods, incubating small businesses, and supporting healthier communities. Stories and statistics regarding these topics are available through FMC’s ‘Markets are Up!’ talking points, and other National Farmers Market Week promotional material.

Some highlights include a 501% increase in in the number of seniors visiting Crescent City Farmers Market in New Orleans from 2008 to 2013, and the 42% increase in the number of SNAP purchases made at Michigan farmers markets in 2012.  “Nationally, as America’s farmers markets continue to grow, they’re also becoming critical community assets and lively public spaces, bringing families from all backgrounds to meet friends, purchase healthy, fresh, affordable food from local farmers and increasingly, providing access to families using their WIC, Senior and SNAP benefits,” says Gus Schumacher, FMC board member and recent James Beard Foundation Leadership Award recipient.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack proclaimed August 4th through 10th National Farmers Market Week with the intention to “further the awareness of the many important contributions farmers make to daily life in America.” FMC encourages everyone to participate in National Farmers Market Week by visiting markets in their communities and buying directly from local farmers. District of Columbia residents can celebrate by joining the event in Columbia Heights on Saturday for games, music, and tastings in addition to the press conference.


 The Farmers Market Coalition (FMC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to strengthening farmers markets for the benefit of farmers, consumers, and communities.  For more information about the Farmers Market Coalition, including please visit their website at