Welcome to the Alaska Farmers Market Association

Mission Statement: To support and promote vibrant and sustainable farmers markets throughout Alaska.

Food Assistance at the Farmers’ Market

Many markets in Alaska now accept Quest cards (also known as Food Stamps or SNAP), WIC Farmers’ Market Coupons, WIC Fruit and Vegetable Vouchers, and Senior Farmers’ Market Coupons. Look on the Market Directory page to find the markets participating in these programs. For more information about these programs, look on the “Quest & WIC/Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Programs” page.

GRANT OPPORTUNITY:

The Division of Agriculture has been working with their partners at Heath & Social Services to implement the ability to accept Quest benefits cards at Farmers Markets throughout Alaska.  Perhaps you saw the attached Application that explained the program back in February? There MAY be additional funding for this program in 2012.  If you are interested in learning more and potentially taking advantage of this opportunity, please contact Diane Peck at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or at 269-8447 as soon as possible.

PDF Quest Grant Application: Download and fill out the registration form (.doc)2012_FM-Quest_Grant_Application.pdf

Benefits of farmers markets

Farmers markets have experienced a renaissance throughout the nation, and have begun to spring up all over Alaska.  While our short growing season and cold climate offers many challenges to our farmers, farmers’ markets are thriving across Alaska.

Farmers markets are good for farmers and good for the communities they serve.

For farmers, farmers markets provide a place where farmers can reconnect with consumers and capture retail dollars for their fresh, high-quality products.

For communities, farmers markets are family-friendly, community-building events that bring neighbors together, attract retail activity to surrounding businesses, create forums for civic education and involvement and provide direct access to Alaska’s agricultural bounty.

Why is it important to support our local farmers markets?

• You create a sense of community through buying locally and cooking and eating locally-grown food with friends and family.
• You build a healthier lifestyle by buying, cooking and eating real food, rather than eating processed, commercially-prepared foods.
• You create stronger social structures by cooking and eating with family and friends.
• You are promoting and protecting Alaskan agriculture for our future.
• You are protecting Alaska’s precious agricultural lands from development.

Why is it important to buy local food?

1. The produce tastes better because of our cool climate! Our cool nights make the vegetables sweeter and more delicious than anything grown in hotter climates.
2. The produce tastes better because it’s fresher! With vegetables grown just a few miles away, harvests can be much more recent than for produce shipped from Outside.
3. Your produce will stay fresh much longer after you buy it, because it is so fresh to begin with.
4. The transportation costs of buying local food are much lower than buying produce that has been shipped from the Lower 48. You’re conserving all kinds of energy by buying local food!
5. You’re supporting local farmers and ensuring that farming and local food production will remain viable in Alaska.

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