Dear Deb - August 2023
Dear Deb: What is Farmers’ Market Week and why do we celebrate it? –JC, Concord, CA
National Farmers' Market Week take place every first week full of August and is a time to celebrate all the hard work that goes into making these events happen! From the farmers who grow our food to the market managers who keep things running smoothly, there are so many people to thank for making farmers' markets possible.
This year, Farmers' Market Week is taking place from August 6th to August 12th. So be sure to put it on your calendars and head to your local market to show your support! And while you're there, be sure to thank the people who make it all possible.
Greg Pursley, Regional Manager, states, “Most customers who go to their local farmers’ market don’t think about the fact that someone had to organize and fill this event and make it happen week after week. There are many others, besides the market manager, who make it happen – marketing, administration, and others. There are state and city regulations we have to follow as well.”
Here are just a few of the people who deserve our thanks:
- The farmers: These are the folks who grow our food, so it's only right that we show them some appreciation. Next time you're at the market, take a moment to chat with the farmers and learn about their work.
- The farmers’ market managers: These are the people who keep the market running smoothly. They coordinate with the farmers, set up the stalls, and work with sponsors and the counties.
- The customers: Of course, we can't forget the customers! Without you, farmers' markets wouldn't exist. So next time you're at the market, be sure to thank the people who make it all possible.
- All the people who work behind the scenes to make farmers' markets possible. These people often go unnoticed, but they play a vital role in ensuring that farmers' markets run smoothly.
Allen Moy, Executive Director of the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA) says, “Farmers’ Market Week celebrates the contributions of everyone whose efforts make farmers’ markets possible – from farmers to farmers’ market managers. Farmers’ Market Week also recognizes the unique role that farmers’ markets play as not just essential sources of fresh and healthy food, but also as community gathering spaces. For those of us who love farmers’ markets and are committed to their long-term sustainability, Farmers’ Market Week also provides a great opportunity to share that love with our friends and neighbors, inviting them to experience for themselves what makes farmers' markets special.”
Farmers’ markets are so important to the nation’s local food system that we like to take time to thank the farmers and customers who make them successful as they help support the local communities of which they are a part. As an example of how important they are to the community, they remained open as one of the essential businesses allowed to operate during the COVID pandemic, giving customers an opportunity to find fresh and healthy foods during a very difficult time. It took a lot of effort to keep them running during this time because of the many safety requirements that had to be followed.
It was the manager of each market who kept the markets running during this time. Managers work with the farmers, assign them to markets, and generally keep the market running. The marketing team promotes every market by posting on social media, creating and sending email newsletters, and preparing advertising and mailers. Administration takes care of rules and regulations required by the State of California and local counties, as well as daily paperwork, staffing, and much more. There is also CalFresh/EBT and Market Match to administer.
Market Manager Michael Petersen says, “We are the face you see at the market, but each week it takes a dozen staff who are behind the scenes who are calling farmers, completing paperwork, working with marketing to promote the market, and also making sure regulations are complied with. It takes a lot to bring you a market each week, but we love what we do.”
Farmers' markets provide a way for people to connect with their local farmers and learn about where their food comes from. They also help to support local economies by keeping money circulating in the community
Visit your farmers’ market this month and thank all those who keep it running each week. We thank you for supporting your local farmers’ market! We’re offering free giveaways, chances to win prizes, an area to write down why you love your farmers’ market, a social media contest, and much more! Check in at the market’s information booth for details.