WASHINGTON — American Farmland Trust and the Farmers Market Coalition announce the winners of the 14th annual America’s Farmers Market Celebration, a national event that ran between June 21 – September 19, 2022. 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 2000 markets nationwide participated in the 2022 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 as anchors of communities from coast to coast, providing access to fresh, healthy food and helping residents develop relationships directly with farmers and purveyors,” said Greg Plotkin, American Farmland Trust’s Director of Digital Communications. “I am proud of the value the Celebration lends to the nation’s farmers markets, helping them secure new sponsorships, vendors, and shoppers. On behalf of everyone at American Farmland Trust and the Farmers Market Coalition, congratulations to all the national, regional, and state winners!”
“The Farmers Market Coalition is thrilled again to partner with American Farmland Trust for this annual celebration of farmers markets,” said Hannah Fuller, Farmers Market Coalition Communications Manager. “Whether it’s in a small town or a major urban center, farmers markets are hubs of community action and bringing people together. We love how this celebration brings communities together to support their farmers market organizations online and in person.”
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: Overland Park Farmers Market, Overland Park, KS – Awarded $5,000
It is an honor and privilege to win America’s Favorite Market. This is an award that I’m proud to say is truly a community award.
Over the last three years, staff, vendors and shoppers physically pivoted repeatedly to meet the health guidelines set before us to open and operate safely. We all mentally adapted to overcome the fears and uncertainties of the unknowns. For years, the market has been viewed as a large community gathering place with events and entertainment to make Downtown Overland Park a desirable destination place, all of which was suspended during our temporary relocation. However, this pandemic has highlighted the primary function of what a farmers’ market is and how critical local food is to both vendors and shoppers. From opening as a drive-thru market, to a social distancing market and then moving back to Downtown Overland Park to now the Expanded Pavilion Site, we learned the value and were reminded just how essential the farmers’ market truly is. The OPFM provides healthy food and gives low-income shoppers a way to access local goods bringing the equality of sustainable products to all.
Kristina Stanley, Recreation Supervisor, Parks and Recreation, City of Overland Park
SECOND: Columbia Farmers Market, Columbia, MO – Awarded $2,500
To be recognized as one of the top markets in the country, for the second year in a row, is such an honor for our organization. Many customers have asked us over the past few months what this contest means. Our answer all summer has been that it means we have the best customers. Our community has supported our hard-working farmers and producers for 42 years and has allowed us to grow into the thriving organization we are now. With the help of those supporters and the recognition of this competition, we’ve had the best year on record in 2022. Breaking customer count records week after week, our vendors have sold more than ever, we’ve dispensed more nutrition incentive benefits to our community than ever, and we’ve opened another weekly market. We owe such a big thank you to the mid-Missouri community for supporting our producers, our market, and voting for us in this competition.
Corrina Smith, Executive Director, Columbia Farmers Market
THIRD: Nampa Farmers Market, Nampa, ID – Awarded $1,500
I am proud to accept this honor on behalf of so many amazing people. The vendors at the Nampa Farmers Market are some of the hardest working people I know. They invest their heart and soul in providing the best for their customers. Several of them serve as board members, as well. And that board is filled with incredible men and women who work tirelessly to pitch in with bookkeeping, entertainment, special events, social media, advertising, and countless other jobs that make the Nampa Farmers Market something special. And of course, the Nampa community values us as a vital part of the downtown area. We are not just a place to shop for them – we are their friends.
Jeralynne Bobinski, Market Manager, Nampa Farmers Market
FOURTH: West Windsor Community Farmers Market, West Windsor, NJ – Awarded $750
“Placing fourth in the nation allows us to celebrate and bring more awareness to our nearly twenty year-old market, whose mission has always been to support New Jersey farmers, local food producers and purveyors, create a welcoming community space for all and engender a healthy lifestyle. Seeing the diversity of markets across the country through the American Farmland Trust Celebration highlights all of us doing this invaluable work. We’re proud to be in good company.”
Chris Cirkus, Market Manager, West Windsor Community Farmers Market
FIFTH: Monroe Farmers Market, Monroe, CT – Awarded $250
While we are a small town, I’ve learned to never underestimate this community’s love and appreciation of our Farmers’ Market as demonstrated during this celebration! Since the Market’s inception in 2008, we have embraced a traditional model of farmers & vendors being required to grow/raise/make their own items sourced right here in CT. It has helped us keep our focus and stay true to our mission each season by promoting agriculture in its various forms. Each week, we take pride in highlighting our farmers & vendors through samplings and the launch of our Market Minis program this year which encourages our next generation of consumers to engage with the various aspects of our Market. Both of those programs were launched after earning 3rd place funding in the Country last year! It has been a true joy to participate in this annual celebration with the intention of supporting other Markets, raising each other up, and sharing our mutual pride and dedication in this important agricultural initiative.
Kelly Plunkett, Market Manager, Monroe Farmers Market
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