SC Commissioner Weathers: National Farmers Market Week
National Farmers Market Week is August 7-13 this year. Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers is here to tell us about it.
It’s that time of year when we celebrate the importance of farmers markets to our economy and our communities.
Why Farmers Markets Are Important
Farmers markets connect the general public to food and farmers:
- According to an American Farm Bureau study, 72% of consumers know “nothing” or “very little” about farming or ranching.
- Markets provide opportunities for consumers to ask questions about how food is grown, how to tell if it’s ripe, etc.
Farmers markets put money in farmers’ pockets:
- Farmers and ranchers receive only 15 cents of every dollar that consumers spend at traditional food outlets. At a farmers market, 100% of that dollar goes to the farmer.
Farmers markets are business incubators for young farmers:
- In 2020, producers of farms that sold local food directly were more likely than all U.S. farms to be female and age 34 or younger. (Source: Farmers Market Coalition)
How to Find a Market
Our agency operates three state farmers markets, in Greenville, the Midlands, and the Pee Dee.
- Mix of retail and wholesale in Florence and West Columbia, whereas Greenville is entirely a retail market.
We also oversee the South Carolina Association of Farmers Markets, which is a nonprofit statewide organization that supports and promotes farmers market members.
And there are dozens of other markets throughout the state, serving communities and connecting people to fresh food.
Find a market near you by visiting agriculture.sc.gov and clicking “Where to Buy Local”.
With so much Certified SC Grown produce and other products in season, it’s a great week to visit a farmers market.