ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Governor Larry Hogan has declared August 7-13 as Maryland Farmers’ Market Week to recognize the 97 farmers markets across the state that provide citizens with access to fresh, local produce and other Maryland-made items. Celebrate Maryland Farmers’ Market Week by visiting a nearby market and buying local products. For current locations throughout the state, please check out the 2022 Maryland Farmers Market Directory.
“Maryland farmers’ markets provide fresh local produce, meats and other locally-sourced products throughout the state,” said Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “These farmers work tirelessly to provide nutritious and delicious ingredients for Maryland families and businesses. This week and beyond, let’s show our appreciation for Maryland growers and producers by buying fresh produce and other items at a local market.“
In Maryland, there is at least one farmers’ market in every county and Baltimore City. Each market is an important economic driver for the state’s agriculture industry. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) census data, farmers’ markets generate $2.4 billion dollars in sales for American farmers.
Farmers who sell directly to consumers are more likely to stay in business and grow their operations. According to the USDA Economic Research Service, local food systems generate 13 farm operator jobs per $1 million in sales, compared to only three jobs for those that do not sell locally. Therefore, buying locally is not just beneficial for Maryland growers and producers, it is good for the entire community.
Hundreds of Maryland farmers and producers participate annually in MDA’s Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) for Women, Infants, Children (WIC) and Seniors. Over half of all Maryland markets also participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). MDA also provides an annual grant of $200,000 to organizations that provide matching dollars to these federal nutrition programs at farmers markets. These programs help expand access for low-income Marylanders to be able to purchase fresh produce at Maryland farmers’ markets.
Some statistics about Maryland farmers markets:
- Number of Maryland Department of Agriculture
(MDA) Recognized Farmers’ Markets: 97
- Number of markets with FMNP farmers: 96
- Number of markets with farmers who accept SNAP: 57
Maryland Farmers’ Market Week coincides with National Farmers’ Market Week and is fresh on the heels of Maryland Buy Local Week (July 22-31). MDA hopes that Marylanders keep the spirit of Maryland Buy Local Week going by supporting Maryland farmers’ markets from Aug. 7-13. For ideas on meals to make with your farmers’ market purchases, please check out the Maryland WIC Farmers’ Market Cookbooks.
Join the celebration online and help promote National and Maryland Farmers’ Market Week by sharing your favorite farmers’ market photos on social media using the following hashtags: #MDFarmersMarket and #FarmersMarketWeek. Also, be sure to tag MDA (@MdAgDept) and Maryland’s Best (@MDsBest).
Farmer’s market patrons are encouraged to check individual market websites and social media pages for the most current information and news. For more information on farmers’ markets in your area, please visit Maryland’s Best or call (410) 841-5770.
–Jessica Hackett, Marylanbd Department of Agriculture