“Now is the time for our country to recognize and call on family farmers’ ingenuity, strength and value to our past and our future. We can have strong local economies, green energy, a clean environment, healthy citizens and good food – all of these start with family farmers.”
– Willie Nelson, Farm Aid President

All summer long, we’re taking part in the American Farmland Trust’s Farmers Market Celebration. The celebration aims to raise awareness about the importance of farmers markets and how they support family farms and communities across the nation. Farmers markets play a critical role in uplifting family farms in Arizona, so when you shop at your local market, you’re supporting them too!

Small to mid-sized family farms were once the backbone of American agriculture, but the way we produce and consume food today has drastically shifted. Large commercial farming and retail has made it difficult for small family-operated farms to compete in the food marketplace. Farmers markets give these growers a seat at the table, allowing them to sell their products directly to their own community.

Local markets are often a small grower’s first point of entry into the food marketplace. Because farmers markets let growers sell directly to their customers, they save money on infrastructure, marketing, and distribution. This personal and simple relationship allows growers to test products and prices, and even shift or expand their production to meet the needs of their community.

When SNAP customers use Double Up Food Bucks at your farmers market, they’re directly supporting Arizona farmers. The tokens can only be used to purchase locally-grown produce, and that means every cent stays in our local economy and benefits local agriculture.

To learn more about some family farmers in our state, check out the Arizona Farm Bureau’s profiles of over 100 farmers and ranchers. Next week, we’ll be highlighting some local farmers markets that go above and beyond to support family farmers. Stay tuned to our blog, Facebook page and Twitter to learn more about our Arizona farming families and the incredible markets serving them across the state! Feel free to share the graphics below to show your support for our Arizona Farming Families using the hashtags #FarmFamilies, #AZagriculture and #OnMyFork.

Does your favorite farmers market primarily serve family farmers and educate your community about the issues they face? Nominate them today for the American Farmland Trust’s Farmers Market Celebration!