April 19, 2011
On Monday, April 18, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) opened the updating process for the USDA National Farmers Market Directory, which is the official count of farmers markets in the nation. 2011 will be the first year that the directory will track markets with multiple locations and days of operation.
According to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the directory is not merely a listing of the nation’s more than 6,100 farmers markets: it is also a resource for anyone interested in local food, small producers, and policy surrounding regional food systems.
The directory relies on self-reporting by farmers market managers, so it is crucial that market managers update their listing in time for the summer market season. Market managers can update their listing at www.usdadirectoryupdate.com.
In order to have a market listing posted by mid-July, market managers need to send their update to USDA by May 1.
The directory will be periodically updated over the summer as market managers continue to submit listings to USDA’s database. The complete directory will be released in time for National Farmers Market Week, August 7-13.
USDA has tracked farmers market numbers since 1994, and since then, the number of operational markets has increased dramatically from 1,755 to 6,132. The directory also tracks which markets participate in federal nutrition benefits programs and information about seasonality and location.
The directory has already attracted a significant amount of web traffic: in the first quarter of 2011, the website attracted over 65,000 page views. It has also been featured as part of the CNN/Foursquare “Healthy Eating Badge” campaign, and on www.data.gov.
Update your market listing here.
Find a farmers market here.
Categories: Local & Regional Food Systems