Valley Public Radio - Live Audio

California Leads Nation in Farmer's Markets

Aug 5, 2012

The number of farmer’s markets in California has risen substantially. According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture survey, there are about 830 markets in the state. That’s up almost a hundred from last year.

Kathleen Merrigan with the USDA says the economy and the demand for fresh, healthy food have caused a 10 percent increase in markets nationwide.

“We know that we need to grow the number of farmers in this country -with the aging of the American farmer- and one way to do that is to make sure that people have stepping stones into American agriculture and farmer’s markets is a great way to start."

Merrigan says some of the increased demand for farmer’s markets has come about because of increased access for the poor. The USDA has equipped about a third of the nation’s markets with the ability to accept EBT cards for food stamps recipients.