For Immediate Release – Washington, DC, June 14, 2016 – American Farmland Trust is emphasizing the importance of farmers markets and the role they play in keeping family farmers on the land during the eighth summer-annual Farmers Market Celebration. The Celebration calls on shoppers to help recognize the best of America’s farmers markets. The summer-long event launches June 20, 2016.
“The Celebration encourages market customers, family farmers, community activists—anyone who believes they’ve got the best farmers market in the country—to endorse their market in four special areas: Focus on Farmers, Healthy Food for All, Pillar of the Community, and Champion for the Environment,” said Susan Sink, Vice President of Development and External Relations.
Shoppers are also encouraged to use Instagram and join the local food community in saving farmland with their forks, as part of AFT’s ” #OnMyFork” social media campaign. Supporters are encouraged to post pictures or videos of their farmers market to Instagram using the hashtag #OnMyFork to help spread AFT’s “No Farms No Food®” message.
“While farmers markets have been growing in popularity, keeping family farmers on farmland remains a nationwide challenge,” Sink says. “Fortunately, family farmers who sell at farmers markets have a 10 percent greater chance of staying in business over the next five years. Ensuring family farmers stay on the land helps protect critical wildlife habitat, safeguards land for the next generation and continues to supply our communities with healthy food.”
The United States has been losing more than 40 acres of farmland every hour to development. Farms closest to America’s cities—often the providers of the delicious local food found at farmers markets—are directly in the path of that destruction. American Farmland Trust has helped slow this trend over the last 35 years by permanently protecting over five million acres of fertile farmland.
AFT will present national awards to the most endorsed markets in the four areas, as well as the “People’s Choice” Award and the Top 3 most recommended farmers markets in every state.
To learn more, visit markets.farmland.org today. Although farmers markets may stay open through the fall or even year-round, the Celebration will run during the summer season and end September 21, 2016 at midnight.
Robert Connelly, Director of Annual and Special Giving, American Farmland Trust