Agriculture

The winners of America’s 14th Annual Farmers Market Celebration have been revealed

The connection that much of the public has with farmers markets is, in many cases, the only direct connection they have with farmers and the farmers themselves. So it’s exciting to honor those farmers markets around the country that are doing well in their communities.

The America’s Farmers Market Celebrationorganized by the American Farmland Trust and the Farmers Market Coalition, is in its 14th year and ran from June 21 to September 19, 2022. National winners were announced based on public voting, while top markets in five regions across USA and from all 50 states are also recognized.

More than 2,000 farmers markets across the country participated in the 2022 celebration, with more than 10 million supporters engaged by voting, visiting the celebration website and engaging with the celebration on social media.

“America’s farmers markets serve as anchors for communities from coast to coast, providing access to fresh, healthy food and helping residents develop relationships directly with farmers and suppliers,” said Greg Plotkin, director of digital communications for the American Farmland Trust .

National winners

National winners receive $5,000 for first place, $2,500 for second, $1,500 for third, $750 for fourth and $250 for fifth. These funds are awarded to markets for marketing, communications and other needs that help expand market reach and impact.

First Place: Overland Park Farmers Market, Overland Park, Kansas

“Over the past three years, staff, vendors and shoppers have repeatedly physically evolved to comply with the health guidelines set before us to open and operate safely. We have all mentally adapted to overcome the fears and uncertainties of the unknown. For years, the market has been viewed as a large community gathering place with events and entertainment to make Downtown Overland Park a desirable destination, all of which are on hold during our temporary relocation. However, this pandemic has highlighted the primary function of what a farmers market is and how essential local food is to both sellers and buyers. From opening as a drive-thru market, to a social distancing market and then moving back to Downtown Overland Park to now the expanded Pavilion Site, we have learned the value and been reminded how essential the farmers market truly is. OPFM offers healthy food and gives low-income shoppers a way to access local goods, bringing sustainable produce equality to all.” — Kristina Stanley, recreation supervisor, Parks and Recreation, City of Overland Park


Runner-up: Columbia Farmers Market, Columbia, Missouri

“To be recognized as one of the top markets in the country, for the second year in a row, is an honor for our organization. Many customers have asked us in recent months what this contest means. Our answer all summer has been that it means we have the best customers. Our community has supported our hardworking farmers and producers for 42 years and allowed us to grow into the thriving organization we are today. With the help of those supporters and the recognition of this competition, we had our best year on record in 2022. Breaking customer records week after week, our vendors sold more than ever before, we provided more nutritional booster benefits to our community than ever before and we opened another weekly market. We owe a big thank you to the Mid-Missouri community for supporting our producers, our market and voting us into this competition.” — Corrina Smith, Executive Director, Columbia Farmers Market


Third place: Nampa Farmers Market, Nampa, Idaho

“I am proud to accept this honor on behalf of so many wonderful people. The vendors at the Nampa Farmers Market are some of the hardest working people I know. They put their heart and soul into providing the best for their customers. Several of them are also board members. And that board is filled with incredible men and women who work tirelessly to participate in accounting, entertainment, special events, social media, advertising and countless other jobs that make the Nampa Farmers Market something special. And of course, the Nampa community values ​​us as a vital part of downtown. We are not just a place to shop for them, we are their friends. — Jeralynne Bobinski, Market Manager, Nampa Farmers Market


Fourth Place: West Windsor Community Farmers Market, West Windsor, New Jersey

“Placing fourth in the nation allows us to celebrate and bring more awareness to our nearly twenty-year-old market, whose mission has always been to support New Jersey farmers, local food producers and purveyors, create a welcoming community space for all and to generate a healthy lifestyle. Seeing the diversity of markets across the country through the American Farmland Trust’s Celebration highlights all of us who do this invaluable work. We are proud to be in good company.” — Chris Cirkus, Market Manager, West Windsor Community Farmers Market


Fifth Place: Monroe Farmers Market, Monroe, Connecticut

Although we are a small town, we have learned to never underestimate this community’s love and appreciation for our farmers market, as demonstrated during this celebration! Since the market’s inception in 2008, we have embraced a traditional model of farmers and vendors who are required to grow/grow/produce their own CT items. It has helped us stay focused and stay true to our mission every season by promoting agriculture in its various forms. Each week, we’re proud to highlight our farmers and vendors with samplings and the launch of our Market Minis program this year, which encourages our next generation of consumers to get involved in the different aspects of our market. Both programs were launched after securing the 3rd largest funding in the country last year! It was a real joy to participate in this annual celebration with the intention of supporting other markets, lifting each other up and sharing our mutual pride and dedication in this important agricultural initiative. — Kelly Plunkett, Market Manager, Monroe Farmers Market

Since 2008, the celebration has highlighted the important role that farmers’ markets play in American communities and our larger food system. Farmers markets are at the forefront of educating consumers about where food comes from and reinforce AFT’s message of No farms, no food. They foster direct relationships between community members and farmers to help create a more equitable, sustainable and just food system. Participating in the celebration is a way for people to come together and support their communities and local food producers.

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