Farmers' Markets offer an important sales outlet for many of our customers. Plus, it's a great way to purchase fresh, nutritious foods and at the same time promote nutrition education and wholesome eating habits in households. It also keeps the product local so it's a great way to boost our rural community's economy
Louisville, KY (Vocus) July 29, 2009
August 2-8 kicks off National Farmers' Market Week. At Farm Credit Services of Mid-America, an ag lending cooperative serving over 85,000 customers throughout Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee, the staff is encouraging consumers to get out and enjoy markets that are overflowing with a ton of good things to eat.
With skyrocketing energy costs driving up the costs of farm operations, farm families are becoming more resourceful and dynamic - and at the same time, meeting the demands of a choosier consumer, one that increasingly expects products to be "local" as well as fresh and affordable. For many farm families, the answer to this evolving demand lies in the creative delivery of their product through Farmers' Markets.
"We are seeing an emerging trend of products being produced and sold on the farm or delivered directly to the consumer at local Farmers' Markets," said David Lynn, senior vice president with Farm Credit. "In fact, the 2007 Ag Census reported that $1.2 billion in food was sold directly from farmers to consumers, representing a 17% increase over the last 5 years," Lynn reported. Additionally, last year, the USDA reported that there were 4,685 farmers markets operating in the U.S. That's an incredible 170% increase over the last 10 years.
It's no surprise that Farmers' Markets are growing in popularity. They're ideal for the seller, the buyer, and the agricultural community. Farmers are able to pick produce at the peak of flavor. Because locally grown produce does not travel as far to get to the table this saves mileage and marketing costs for the farmer, while allowing them to offer a fresher, tastier product.
Buyers also realize this advantage and are replacing processed food with fresher, healthier products, greater variety and nutritional value, and better pricing. And Farmers' Markets benefit the community by offering a link between rural and urban populations, opening the eyes of non-farming neighbors to the world of ag industry.
"Farmers' Markets offer an important sales outlet for many of our customers. Plus, it's a great way to purchase fresh, nutritious foods and at the same time promote nutrition education and wholesome eating habits in households. It also keeps the product local so it's a great way to boost our rural community's economy," Lynn said.
About Farm Credit Services
Farm Credit Services of Mid-America is a $15.5 billion financial services cooperative serving almost 85,500 farmers, agribusinesses and rural residents in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee. The association provides loans for all farm and rural living purposes including real estate, operating, equipment and housing and related services such as crop and life insurance and vehicle, equipment and building leases. For more information about Farm Credit, call 1-800-444-FARM or go online at http://www.e-farmcredit.com.
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