In the News

UN System Standing Committee on Nutrition Food Environments Report

An FMC article titled “Farmers markets as a strategy for improving food environments” (p.54) has recently been published in a UN System Standing Committee on Nutrition report about food environments. The full report explores the contexts in which consumers engage with the food system, while FMC’s article dives into the details of how farmers markets support healthy, prosperous communities. [Read the report]

Politico: Farmers market head into peak season coping with farm bill uncertainty
May 1, 2019 – Farmers market groups were bracing for a major setback in the months before top farm bill negotiators reached a compromise that triggered passage of a final bill in December. Advocates for the industry were relieved the final bill reflected the Senate’s approach, which they said included several key investments that will help the industry build on the hard-earned progress it has made in recent years to popularize farmers markets and expand their reach.

But now, three months after the 35-day lapse in USDA funding ended, farmers market operators find themselves in the same situation as all other sectors who rely on farm bill programs — waiting for the Agriculture Department to implement the law’s many provisions. “We were really thrilled to see the farm bill come through in its final form,” said Ben Feldman, policy director for the Farmers Market Coalition, an industry trade group. “But then we went straight into the government shutdown.” [Keep reading]

The Town Talk (USA Today): Institute Gives Market Managers Resources to Grow
February 7, 2019 – The Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance hosted the Fresh Central Certified Institute on Friday and Thursday at the Holiday Inn in downtown Alexandria. Sagdrina Jalal, executive director of the Georgia Farmers Market Association, and Darlene Wolnik, senior research associate with the Farmers Market Coalition, led participants through workshops on messaging, mission, measurement and management of farmers markets. [Keep reading]

WGN Radio Chicago: The Farm Bill is Inching Closer to being Finalized
December 13, 2018 – The new U.S. Farm Bill has been on the radar for many Americans, and after a significant put off, the first part of the bill has been passed and Ben Feldman (Policy Director at The Farmers Market Coalition) broke down what will be a focal point for farmers, and consumers as the farm bill moves on to the next stage to be finalized. [Start interview at 19:00]

The American Prospect: The SNAP crisis at farmers market across the county
July 19, 2018 – SNAP benefits may not be accepted at many farmers markets this summer. If so, both farmers and low-income people will lose. [Keep reading]

Modern Farmer: Non-profit steps in as stop-gap to keep SNAP at farmers markets (for now)
July 19, 2018 – In response, the National Association of Farmers Market Nutrition Programs (NAFMNP) has stepped in to ease the transition by agreeing to support Novo Dia for 30 more days, hopefully allowing some kind of alternative (or change in policy) to emerge. [Keep reading]

Modern Farmer: Tens of thousands of people are about to lose the ability to use SNAP at farmers markets
July 10, 2018 – A seemingly minor change in governmental contract is about to have huge detrimental effects on the people least able to handle it—and at the worst possible time. [Keep reading]

Washington Post: Some food stamp recipients may soon lose access to farmers market benefits
July 9, 2018 – The Novo Dia Group, an Austin-based company that processes some 40 percent of SNAP transactions at farmers markets nationwide, said it will end its service by July 31, leaving about 1,700 of the more than 7,000 markets that offer SNAP with no way to serve low-income customers. [Keep reading]

Huffington Post: Is the Produce at the Farmers Market Local?
June 27, 2018 – States have different rules for what can be sold at farmers markets. [Keep reading]

WGN Radio Chicago: Direct Agricultural Marketing Summit
June 19, 2018 – The Farmers Market season is underway, but for farmers, the marketing side the business can be a daunting task. Steve Grzanich previewed the season and the first Direct Agricultural Marketing Summit with Jen Cheek (Executive Director at The Farmers Market Coalition) to learn about how farmers can find success through productive marketing. [Start interview at 4:34]

Wall Street Journal: Don’t Forget to Water the Logs: Mushrooms Are in for Home Gardens
June 11, 2018 – “Our growers are hearing it from chefs,” says Darlene Wolnik, senior research associate with the Farmer’s Market Coalition, a membership organization that represents 4,500 farmer’s markets. She says more farmers are taking on mushroom growing as they look to supplement traditional row crops. Mushrooms grow in shady land that is difficult to use otherwise. [Keep reading]

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: How Can Pittsburgh’s Farmers Markets be Improved? A New Community Outreach Study Aims to Find Out
November 30, 2017 – Imagine walking through an urban square at 8 a.m. and seeing a just-opened farmers market with more than 30 vendors. Shoppers join chefs, some of them in whites, hustling through the market with boxes and wheelbarrows to buy produce before it sells out. The scene plays out in small and large cities around the country. Pittsburgh is not yet one of those cities. Access to local food is declining because some markets aren’t supported, farmers aren’t making enough money and too many fiefdoms make it more challenging to offer a range of high-quality ingredients.To examine the city’s farmers markets and where improvements can be made, the city planning commission has created the Farmers Market Study Community Outreach. [Keep reading]

Civil Eats: Farmers Markets are Beloved, but the Government May Cut Their Funding
October 30, 2017 – America’s current farm bill expires at the end of September 2018, leaving less than a year before lawmakers could begin to make cuts to a variety of federal programs affecting food and farming. And, despite America’s growing love for farmers’ markets, it’s looking unlikely that the Farmer Markets Promotion Program (FMPP) will be prioritized in the coming bill. [Keep reading]

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Study Looks to Bolster Pittsburgh Farmers Markets
September 9, 2017 – A national nonprofit is about to study the nearly 30 farmers markets in Pittsburgh, looking to boost their business and impact across the city. “If the report is able to accomplish one goal, it would be that: more farmers reaching more customers in a way that makes money for farmers and gets as many Pittsburghers as possible to the markets,” said Alex Canepa, the research and education director at the Farmers Market Coalition. [Keep reading]

CityLab (The Atlantic): What’s the Future of the Urban Farmers Market?
September 5, 2017 – As grocery delivery ramps up, these bastions of local food are no longer offering something quite so unusual. Who is the model serving—and can it survive? [Keep reading]

USA Today: Farmers Markets Help Entrepreneurs Harvest Success
August 9, 2017 – Aug. 6-12 has been declared “National Farmers Market Week” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a good reminder that if you want to help small American farmers survive, one of the best things you can do is shop at farmers markets. [Keep reading]

AccuWeather: 10 Surprising Foods in Season During Summer
August 8, 2017 – This week (Aug. 6-12) is National Farmers Market Week, a perfect time to head out and find some new and interesting foods to bring into your summer routine. [Keep reading]

Union of Concerned Scientists: 7 Fun Facts for National Farmers Market Week
August 4, 2017 – This Sunday marks the start of National Farmers Market Week, an annual celebration of local food systems. To get us in the mood, here are seven facts that illustrate the benefits of farmers markets and local food systems. [Keep reading]

Politico: The Federal Reserve Discusses Food and Economy
August 3, 2017 – The Federal Reserve and USDA are unveiling a new report today to showcase how local and regional food systems can help the economies of rural and urban communities, as well as increase access to healthier food and create a more productive workforce. The report is intended to signal that local food is no longer just for “foodies,” but instead is in high demand by consumers across the country and is ripe for investment and financing. [Keep reading]

KCBY 11: Coos Bay Farmers Market Celebrates National Farmers Market Week
August 1, 2017 – The Coos Bay Farmers Market is joining markets across the country in celebrating National Farmers Market Week August 6-12. “Farmers markets play a vital role not just in generating real income for farmers, but in forming healthy, prosperous food systems,” says Jen Cheek, Executive Director of the Farmers Market Coalition. [Keep reading]

Clark Fork Valley Press: Farmers Markets Yield Big Community Reward
July 26, 2017 – The farmers markets in Alberton and Superior are small, but they carry a big message about promoting healthy communities. Local residents can enjoy fresh locally grown foods and crafts and vendors get more value from direct sales. The community also benefits from more money being circulated through the local economy. [Keep reading]

The News-Gazette: Community Farmers Markets Support Health, Vitality
July 25, 2017 – For many, farmers’ markets represent a fun, social environment to interact with vendors and other marketgoers. Others see them as a way to connect with local growers and support local business, but many of us don’t often think about the vital role farmers’ markets play in supporting the health of communities. Not only do they link communities, families and individuals to fresh, whole foods that supply important nutrients we need to stay healthy; they also create points of access to healthy foods for families and individuals experiencing food insecurity. [Keep reading]

The Eagle Tribune: Fresh from the Farm – Outdoor Markets Blossoming in the Merrimack Valley
July 24, 2017 – This summer marks the first time in a very long time that every Merrimack Valley community will offer fresh local produce to residents through farmers markets, matching a statewide renaissance of the age-old tradition. [Keep reading]

NPR: What’s so great about local food? Let’s start with food security
June 22, 2017 – Ali Berlow and Elspeth Hay have been taking stock about why local food is important to them. They’ve talked about local food through a lens of economics, seasonality and now, security. [Keep reading]

Boulder Daily Camera: Lafayette Farmers Market returns with farmer incentive
June 6, 2017 – The Lafayette market — now under management with Boulder County Farmers Markets — is boasting a groundbreaking guaranteed-minimum sales program for participating farmers that will be funded by the Founding Members Program, wherein residents of Lafayette can become supporters of the market with a membership. [Keep reading]

Wicked Local Lexington: Lexington Farmers Market returns for 13th season
May 23, 2017 – The market also received a grant from the Farmer’s Market Coalition, a national organization that works to strengthen farmer’s markets as community assets, which provides funding for new equipment that will make EBT, or food stamps, transactions at the market run smoother. [Keep reading]

WGN Radio Chicago: Food assistance at Illinois farmers markets
May 17, 2017 – “If American tax dollars can simultaneously feed our hungry neighbors, and provide a source of income and demand for American produce, it really is a huge win-win.” [Listen]

Farm Credit: Good news, farmers markets transcend the urban/rural divide
February 7, 2017 – No matter how you voted on election day, chances are you’ve read a headline like this: “Election Highlights a Growing Rural/Urban Divide.” In all the post-election hubbub, media outlets from the New York Times to Fox News agreed on one thing—there’s a distinct divide between urban and rural Americans. [Keep reading]