The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the results of a custom database that aggregates all of the farmers' markets listed in each state. And, according to the USDA, there are more than 7,800 markets across the United States, a slight increase over last year's 7,175 markets.
"Farmers' markets are a critical ingredient to our nation's food systems," said Kathleen Merrigan, agriculture deputy secretary. "These outlets provide benefits not only to the farmers looking for important income opportunities, but also to the communities looking for fresh, healthy foods. The directory is an online tool that helps connect farmers and consumers, communities and businesses around the country."
According to the custom database, the top state was California with 827 markets. Following were New York (647 markets), Massachusetts (313 markets), Michigan (311 markets) and Wisconsin (298 markets).
In addition, the database was able to detect which regions saw the largest upswings in farmers' markets. Areas such as the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and the Southeast experienced the biggest gains in listings with 15.8 percent, 14.4 percent and 13 percent increases respectively.
Another agriculture database was developed by the Louisiana State University AgCenter that has more than 1,500 Louisiana farmers, ranchers and seafood producers in the system.
Called Louisiana Market Maker, the custom database is described as being "a bit like Craigslist for agricultural commerce" by the New Orleans Times-Picayune. The program allows consumers to search providers by product and distance from a zip code. Originally developed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for bee farmers in the area, Market Maker is now used by 19 states including Louisiana.
Powered by Facebook Comments