Gateway Farmers Market Celebrates National Farmers Market Week
TEXARKANA, Ark. –
The Gateway Farmers Market has celebrated National Farmers Market Week for several years. This event is celebrated at different times of the year throughout the United States, according to the peak produce season. Texarkana, Arkansas’ Gateway Farmers Market joins in this effort by celebrating National Farmers’ Market Week the second Saturday in July. This year it will be July 9, 2016. However, this year the Gateway Farmers Market will be open every day this week with special drawings on Saturday. There will be fresh produce including tomatoes, peppers, squash, peaches, Arkansas watermelons, and much more. There will also be fresh jams and jellies, breads, cookies, soaps, flowers and more available.
The numbers of Farmers Markets in the U.S. has grown dramatically in recent years, prompting local, regional, and national advocates of local farming to designate a week each year to take note of their benefits.
The U. S. Department of Agriculture reports that over 5,000 farmers’ markets currently operate throughout the nation. Sales generated by farmers’ markets have been estimated to exceed $1.5 billion a year, with most of the money going directly to small farmers.
Arkansas has seen increases in the number of farmers’ markets during this same period, up from 50 to more than 80 and over $8.4 million.
The vitality of small – and medium – sized farms across Arkansas is good for the local economy, good for consumers, and good for our produce farmers. Many communities find it rewarding to invest in local markets as a component of economic development and are realizing benefits from the resulting tourism.
USDA is developing numerous initiatives to increase farmer and consumer awareness of the convenience and value of farmers markets.
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture and USDA are working together to increase the development of farmers’ markets and, in the last decade, the federal-state partnership has emphasized a critical need to help small farmers and to provide consumers access to fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables.
The Secretary of Agriculture observed that about one in four farmers’ markets in the country contribute their surplus to gleaning programs that distribute food to local homeless shelters, community pantries, and other charitable organizations that feed the hungry.
Our vendors at Gateway Farmers Market, located at East 9th Street and Jefferson, donate surplus to the Friendship Centers and 4-H summer youth programs. There will be several free drawings for fresh produce Saturday, July 9th, at our National Farmers Market Celebration.
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service works with states to encourage market growth, while its Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Sciences Agents, helps needy families gain access to healthy produce. One result is that more than 3,000 farmers’ markets nationwide now accept coupons from recipients of the Federal Women, Infants, and Children Assistance Program (WIC). The Gateway Farmers’ Market, at 9th & Jefferson in Texarkana, Arkansas, accepts WIC vouchers and is one of the largest, locally grown FRESH produce markets in Arkansas.
The drawings for fresh produce will start at 9:00 AM. You must be present to win. We are expecting the largest number of fresh produce farmers in our market’s existence.
Our Gateway Farmers Market facility was built in 1997 and, since then it has increased in number of growers and the amount of produce being sold. The 2016 growing season is building to be our best year since establishment.
Remember, the Gateway Farmers Market at East 9th and Jefferson will celebrate National Farmers’ Market Week on Saturday, July 9, 2016.
By Miller County Cooperative Extension
County Extension Agent - Agriculture
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division f Agriculture
Media Contact: Miller County Cooperative Extension
County Extension Agent - Agriculture
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854
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