WASHINGTON — American Farmland Trust and the Farmers Market Coalition announce the winners of the 15th annual America’s Farmers Market Celebration, a national event honoring the role of farmers markets that ran between June 21 – September 18, 2023. Markets receiving the most public votes are declared the national winners. The celebration also recognizes top markets in five regions nationwide and in all 50 states.
More than 2,000 markets nationwide participated in the 2023 celebration with over ten million supporters engaged through voting, visiting the celebration website and engaging with the celebration on social media.
“America’s farmers markets serve communities from coast to coast, providing access to fresh, healthy food and building opportunity for farmers,” said David Thayer, American Farmland Trust’s Director of Marketing, Outreach and Digital Communications. “It is a pleasure to host the Celebration and witness the incredible support for local food around the nation. On behalf of everyone at American Farmland Trust, congratulations to all the national, regional, and state winners!”
“The Farmers Market Coalition has been delighted to join forces with American Farmland Trust for another round of country-wide farmers market appreciation,” said Ben Sloane, Farmers Market Coalition Communications Manager. “America’s Farmers Market Celebration continues to be a great opportunity for markets to engage with their communities, spotlight their vendors and grant market goers the chance to illustrate their love and appreciation for all the benefits and joy their local farmers markets provide.”
Since 2008, the celebration has highlighted the important role farmers markets play in American communities and our larger food system. Farmers markets are on the leading edge of educating consumers about where food comes from and reinforce AFT’s message of No Farms, No Food. They foster direct relationships between community members and farmers to help create a more fair, sustainable and just food system. Participating in the Celebration is a way for people to come together and support their communities and local food producers.
National winners are awarded $5,000 for first, $2,500 for second, $1,500 for third, $750 for fourth and $250 for fifth. These funds are awarded to markets for marketing, communications and other needs that help expand the market’s reach and impact.
FIRST: North Tonawanda City Market | North Tonawanda, NY – Awarded $5,000
The excitement that this competition created was something like I have never seen before at our farmers market. From the farmers, vendors, media, community, businesses, and people both young and old, everyone was all on board. As the Market Manager, for me it was all about the creation of a tremendous marketing opportunity that would generate great exposure for the market. It was such a beautiful thing to see how people came together to support our market. Thanks to the American Farmers Trust for providing us with a platform to showcase all the incredible happenings at the North Tonawanda City Market. The exposure from this has brought in shoppers from all over the Western New York region that have never been to our market.
Chris Delprince, Market Manager, North Tonawanda City Market
SECOND: Meigs County Farmers Market | Pomeroy, OH – Awarded $2,500
As a five-year-old market we already knew the importance of our community choosing to support local. Their support has allowed us to grow and give back to the community through classes, social service programs, donations, young entrepreneur spaces and free activities. To have a space where local farmers, makers and bakers can give their best and be supported has been wonderful. We knew the market had become a business incubator, but it has been amazing to watch the community make it a “community” incubator as well. We are very thankful to American Farmland Trust for allowing us to be a part of this year’s competition and igniting the love of our little market with a heart within the whole County and beyond. This market belongs to the community, and they showed it this past month like never before. We are excited to see this love for all things local carry through our whole county, because when a small town unites, nothing is impossible.
Stephanie Rife, Market Manager, Meigs County Farmers Market
THIRD: Mt. Washington Farmers Market | Mt. Washington, KY – Awarded $1,500
Mt. Washington Farmers Market is a family-oriented place of gathering, consisting of 25 local farmers and vendors, held twice weekly. It draws its support from a strong small-town community in Kentucky. The market provides crafts and activities for the whole family including instruction on gardening and scavenger hunts around the market. Special weekly events like Jeep Night, Family Safety, Local Superheroes, Dog Days of Summer, and local high school football tailgating help the market engage a wide variety of organizations from throughout our community. We have big plans for continuing this tradition, and enlarging its scope next year. The prize money will help us expand our market area and help us increase our community outreach programs. Mt Washington Farmers Market wishes to express gratitude to America’s Farmers Market Celebration, American Farmland Trust, and Farmers Market Coalition for this award.
Michelle Walsh, Market Manager, Mt. Washington Farmers Market
FOURTH: Brookfield Farmers Market (IL) | Brookfield, IL – Awarded $750
Each component of our market brings our community and surrounding communities together week in and week out to have a place to buy local produce and goods, interact with local artisans and enjoy music while catching up with friends. This incredible recognition is shared but our Village, our amazing Police Department, the market committee, our sponsors and our volunteers who we couldn’t do this without and is an inspiration for all of us to continue to grow the market for ourselves and the local communities to enjoy in 2024 and beyond.
Gina Sharenow, Market Manager, Brookfield Farmers Market
FIFTH: Kershaw County Farmers Market | Camden, SC – Awarded $250
First and foremost, this is so exciting. We are such a small farmers market in an extremely rural area that to be among the winners is almost surreal.
Fifth in the nation, first in the state of South Carolina!!! Words can’t express how elated we are. We are truly a hidden gem in a rural area with the heart of gold. Our community is supportive of our vendors who are made up of local farmers, ranchers, artisans, soap/candle makers, unique one-of-a-kind vendors like chair caning, dog treats, food trucks, Girl Scouts, church’s, plants, fresh flowers, henna artists, jewelers, the list goes on. We support one another and look forward to market days. We only have one staff person and a few volunteers so the work that goes into the market is truly from the heart.
This award is such an honor it really represents the love and support the local community has shown for our local market.
Camden, SC has a population of less than 8,500 based on the July 22 census. So, we are truly grateful and humbled with this victory.
Dorothy Butterson Davis, Market Manager, Kershaw County Farmers Market
Meigs County Farmers Market – Pomeroy, OH
North Tonawanda City Market – North Tonawanda, NY
Nampa Farmers Market – Nampa, ID
Mt. Washington Farmers Market – Mt. Washington, KY
McKinney Farmers Market at Chestnut Square – McKinney, TX
STATE WINNERS: – Awarded $100 for 1st in each State
AL – Farmers Market at the Tuscaloosa River Market | Tuscaloosa, AL
AK – Tanana Valley Farmers Market | Fairbanks, AK
AZ – Prescott Farmers Market | Prescott, AZ
AR – Bentonville Farmers Market | Bentonville, AR
CA – Diablo Valley Farmers Market
CO – Louisville Farmers Market | Louisville, CO
CT – Monroe Farmers Market (Connecticut) | Monroe, CT
DE – Historic Lewes Farmers Market | Lewes, DE
DC – Mount Pleasant Farmers Market | Washington, DC
FL – Lakewood Ranch Farmers Market | Lakewood Ranch, FL
GA – Cartersville Farmers Market | Cartersville, GA
HI – Kaka’ako Farmers’ Market | Honolulu, HI
ID – Nampa Farmers Market | Nampa, ID
IL – Brookfield Farmers Market (IL) | Brookfield, IL
IN – YLNI Barr Street Market | Fort Wayne, IN
IA – Freight House Farmers Market | Davenport, IA
KS – Downtown Hays Market | Hays, KS
KY – Mt. Washington Farmers Market | Mt. Washington, KY
LA – Bossier City Farmers Market
ME – Brunswick Topsham Land Trusts Crystal Springs Farmers Market | Brunswick, ME
MD – 32nd Street/Waverly Farmers Market | Baltimore, MD
MA – Billerica Community Farmers Market
MI – Mount Clemens Farmers Market | Mount Clemens, MI
MN – Rochester MN Farmers Market | Rochester, MN
MS – Cleveland, MS Farmers Market | Cleveland, MS
MO – Ash Grove Farmers Market | Ash Grove, MO
MT – WSE’s Livingston Farmers Market | Livingston, MT
NE – Omaha Farmers Market – Aksarben Village
NV – Prevail Marketplace | Las Vegas , NV
NH – Salem NH Farmers Market | Salem, NH
NJ – Collingswood Farmers Market | Collingswood, NJ
NM – Farmers & Crafts Market of Las Cruces | Las Cruces, NM
NY – North Tonawanda City Market | North Tonawanda, NY
NC – Matthews Community Farmers’ Market
ND – Town Square Farmers Market | Grand Forks, ND
OH – Meigs County Farmers Market | Pomeroy, OH
OK – Norman Farmers Market | Norman, OK
OR – St. Johns Farmers Market | St. Johns (Portland), OR
PA – Lancaster Central Market | Lancaster, PA
RI – Scituate Rotary Farmers Market | North Scituate, RI
SC – Kershaw County Farmers Market | Camden, SC
SD – Burke Area Farmers Market | Burke, SD
TN – Clarksville Downtown Farmers Market | Clarksville, TN
TX – McKinney Farmers Market at Chestnut Square | McKinney, TX
UT – Farmers Market Ogden | Ogden, UT
VT – Vermont Farmers Market (Rutland) | Rutland, VT
VA – Charlottesville City Market | Charlottesville, VA
WA – Maple Valley Farmers Market | Maple Valley, WA
WV – Fayette County Farmers Market | Fayetteville, WV
WI – Downtown West Bend Farmers Market | West Bend, WI
WY – Lander Valley Farmers Market | Lander, WY
American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through our No Farms, No Food message. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.8 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres and supported thousands of farm families.
–American Farmland Trust