The 11th Annual Farmers Market Celebration Lends Perspectives on the Value of Local Food

This past Friday marked the end of American Farmland Trust’s summer long celebration of local food and the communities behind them. Throughout the 11th annual Farmers Market Celebration, there were hundreds of memories, stories, and perspectives shared via social media and on the Celebration’s #OnMyFork submission page. 

I wanted to share some of my favorite stories from the celebration that demonstrated just how important these markets are to their communities. The Troy Waterfront Farmers Market took home the 2019 People’s Choice award and with that had some incredible stories of impact shared out to the Farmers Market Celebration community.

“Because of the proximity of the market, and more importantly the diversity of that market, I was able to make valuable and long lasting connections with local farmers and producers.”  – Laura Kerrone, a local business owner and patron of the Troy Waterfront Farmers Market

Farmers markets benefits are not only measurable in business and personal connections formed but also dollars in the pockets of producers and customers.  

Laura Kerrone, at the Troy Waterfront Farmers Market

The impact of farmers markets on the lives of community members was perfectly summed up by Lynette Meynig who worked a stand in the market voted as the top market in Virginia. “It put my kids through college and we’re all proud of that. We’ve all learned lots about running a small business and love being part of our community, she said, adding, “farmers markets are an awesome celebration of communities coming together.”  

These stories are critical to understanding the importance of protecting farmland and the farmers that work the land. At American Farmland Trust, we know that much of the food we eat is produced on the urban edge, putting it at an increased risk of being developed. AFT’s mission to save the land that sustains us is built on the understanding of the challenges farmers and ranchers face across the country. 

Here is one last highlight from the market that came in third in the nation, brought to you by Barbara Cruz: “I live about an hour from the West Windsor Community Farmers Market, but my Saturday visits are the highlight of my week. The farmers and vendors are kind and knowledgeable, and I leave with a smile on my face and joy in my heart after every visit. 

I wanted to take a moment to thank the markets that participated in this summer long event along with the people that shared their stories and in doing so elevated the role of local food in communities across this country. Visit markets.farmland.org to read more about the celebration and make sure to support farmers markets near you.