Vermont’s Secretary of Agriculture, Chuck Ross, will join Rutland County legislators at the Rutland Downtown Farmers’ Market to kick-off National Farmer’s Market Week this Saturday, August 2nd.
The market, located at 98 Merchant’s Row in Rutland’s Depot Park, is one of eighty farmers’ markets across the state. Per capita, Vermont has more farmers’ markets than any other state in the nation.
According to Ross, Vermont’s thriving farmers’ market community is a reflection of the values of Vermonters.
“Farmers’ markets bring communities together, provide local, healthy food, create opportunity for farmers, and preserve the Working Landscape, which is why so many Vermonters are proud to support them.” Ross said.
He also believes the markets play an important educational role.
“Farmers’ markets connect consumers directly to the producers who grow and raise their food,” said Secretary Ross. “This connection is critical to fostering what I often refer to as ‘Ag Literacy,’ an appreciation and understanding of where food comes from, and how farming works.”
“Today, less than 2 of our national population works on a farm,” he continued. “Farmers’ markets are one way we can ensure the other 98 remains connected to agriculture in these changing times.”
Farmers’ Market Week began in 2000 with a designation by the USDA, in recognition of the important role markets play in developing local and regional food systems. Nationwide, the week is celebrated August 3-9.
Vermont’s Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets partners closely with the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) and the Vermont Farmers’ Market Association (VTFMA) in supporting efforts to strengthen and grow the state’s network of Farmers’ Markets.
For more information about this week-long, state-wide celebration, including details about VTFMA’s social media “selfie” contest, visit www.vtfma.org
About the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets: VAAFM facilitates, supports and encourages the growth and viability of agriculture in Vermont while protecting the working landscape, human health, animal health, plant health, consumers and the environment. www.agriculture.vermont.gov
Media Contact: Abbey Willard, Local Foods Administrator, 802-272-2885, email@example.com