Our mission is cultivating opportunities for consumers to buy fresh produce from local growers.

On behalf of the Departments of Agriculture, Departments of Health, Senior Agencies and Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) that coordinate the WIC or Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, welcome to our website. This website is an effort to improve the communication with our association members and partner agencies and also to better communicate our programs with U.S. residents seeking ways to access locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Please review the State Programs list for a program in your state and contact a coordinating agency for more information on how to participate in either of these programs where you live.

In addition, we have provided information on the site for farmers interested in becoming an EBT retailer to accept SNAP purchases at farmers markets as well. Refer to the MarketLink section for information on how to begin the application process.

Please refer to the Resources section for information regarding other USDA Supplemental Nutrition Programs and programs benefiting farmers markets.

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USDA Highlights Nearly 900 Operating Winter Farmers Markets

farmers market

Sam Jones-Ellard (202) 720-8998

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 2010 – With winter on its way, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced today that its National Farmers Market Directory lists 898 winter farmers markets across the country, accounting for more than 14 percent of the nation’s 6,132 operating farmers markets and extending opportunities for consumers to access locally grown food.
“Fresh, local, and healthful food isn’t just a good weather offering,” said David Shipman, Acting Administrator of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. “Clearly in many places, winter markets are hot despite the cold weather. Even in states where the traditional growing season is short, the market season is long. This allows more small and local farmers to continue bringing in income for their families and their businesses, while also providing great, nutritious food to communities year round.”
Farmers markets are considered winter farmers markets if they operate between November and March. The top 11 states for these markets are: New York (153), California (140), North Carolina (53), Florida (45), Pennsylvania (42), Ohio (34), Massachusetts (32), Kentucky (30), New Jersey (24), Connecticut (20), and Michigan (20).
The last time USDA released a count of winter farmers markets was in 2009 as part of the agency’s National Farmers Market Manager Survey. Since then, winter markets have grown 17 percent. Results from that same survey indicate that farmers markets operating more than seven months per year have higher monthly sales than their strictly seasonal counterparts.
In August 2010 USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory listed 6,132 operating farmers markets overall, a 16 percentrise from 2009. The National Farmers Market Directory has been collecting self-reported information about farmers markets since 1994.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Wednesday between Dec. 1 and March 30, USDA sponsors a Winter Farmers Market at its headquarters in Washington, DC. The market features local products such as seasonal produce, honey, herbs and baked goods. It is open to the public and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other federal nutrition benefit programs are accepted.
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