The USDA reported that in mid-2009, there were 6,132 farmers markets in operation throughout the United States, nearly triple what there was in 1994! In addition, nearly 900 of those markets continue operating through the winter even in cold-weather areas and states. Statistics have been kept on trends in farmers markets by the Marketing Services Division within the USDA, and is reported in the National Farmers Market Directory.
According to a Department of Agriculture report released in August of 2010, there are 6,132 farmers markets in operation. This is and increase of 16% from 2009 numbers. The biggest increases were seen in the Midwest. Missouri, for example, saw a 77% increase in farmers markets, the strongest growth in the country. The study also noted 886 farmers markets open during the off season winter months. This is the first year that the Department of Agriculture has tracked these numbers, so time will tell if off season markets are a growing trend.
There were 898 winter farmers markets accounted for in 2010 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This was an increase from the 2009 winter farmers market report of 17%. This report also showed that those farmers markets that operate more than seven months per year, have a higher monthly sales than their strictly seasonal counterparts. The great thing about this, is that it extends the opportunities for consumers to access locally grown, nutritious, healthy food all year round, and it also helps small and local farmers to survive through the winter. To be considered winter farmers markets – they operate from November to March and they were in 11 states. New York, California, North Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts, Kentucky, New Jersey, Connecticut and Michigan.
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