National Farmers’ Market Week in Minnesota kicks off Aug. 4 at Saint Paul Farmers’ Market with elected officials, agriculture representatives and more
National Farmers’ Market Week (NFMW) will take place Aug. 4-10 in communities across the country. The Minnesota celebration will kick off at a public event on Sunday, Aug. 4 at the Saint Paul Farmers’ Market (SPFM) located at 290 5th Street East in downtown Saint Paul. There will be games and activities for guests throughout the morning, with a presentation and dignitaries including Thom Petersen, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), participating in farm-themed contests from 10:30-11 a.m. The event is free and open to the public and is being presented in partnership by the MDA, Minnesota Farmers Market Association (MFMA), Minnesota Grown (MG), Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) and SPFM. Olympic athlete and Minnesota Grown spokesperson Carrie Tollefson will emcee the event.
NFMW is a yearly celebration sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that highlights the important role farmers’ markets play in the nation’s food system and gives local markets the opportunity to showcase the meaningful impacts they make in their communities. Each year, farmers’ markets across Minnesota participate in the event by creating their own independent celebrations. The August 4 event marks the first time MFMA, MFU and Minnesota Grown are collectively sponsoring a large statewide event – in future years, the kickoff will be held at a different markets around the state. “Farmers markets across the state represent a town’s gathering point, the center of the local community,” said David Kotsonas, executive director of SPFM. “We’re looking forward to hosting this year’s event and highlighting the bounty of delicious, healthy foods grown and produced by the hard-working farmers in Minnesota.”
“National Farmers’ Market Week is a great opportunity to celebrate how much value markets bring to Minnesota,” said Kathy Zeman, executive director of the MFMA. “We plan to make this celebration an annual event, highlighting a different market in the state each year. With over 165 years of tradition, terrifically located, and buzzing with activity, culture and goods, the Saint Paul Farmers’ Market is the perfect choice for this inaugural celebration.”
There are currently more than 185 farmers markets across Minnesota, most of whom will participate in the celebration with special events. According to the MDA, agriculture is the foundation of Minnesota’s economy. Minnesota ranks #5 in the nation in agricultural production, with $17 billion in agricultural sales per year. Agricultural production and processing industries generate over $112 billion annually in total economic impact and support more than 431,127 jobs.
“Customers can quickly find their nearby farmers market by using the popular Minnesota Grown directory,” said Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen. “These markets have become a summertime staple by providing fresh, locally grown products in over 190 cities and towns throughout the state.”
“Family farmers need access to a variety of markets to get fair prices for their labor and products,” said MFU president Gary Wertish. “Farmers’ markets have long provided these market opportunities, as well as giving farmers outlets to connect with consumers. Minnesota Farmers Union is proud to support legislative, cooperative and educational initiatives benefiting farmers markets, including National Farmers’ Market Week.”
Program Lineup, 10:30-11 a.m.
- Brief remarks from guest speakers including agriculture representatives, elected officials and farmers
- Farm-themed contests with special guests competing in corn shucking, veggie rolling and other hilarious activities
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Minnesota Farmers Union—Standing for Agriculture, Working for Farmers (www.mfu.org).