Celebrating 25 Years of National Farmers Market Week: August 4th – 10th, 2024

As summer reaches its peak, communities across the nation will soon celebrate the 25th anniversary of National Farmers Market Week from August 4th to 10th. This milestone marks a quarter-century of honoring the vibrant farmers markets that are integral to our local food systems, economy, and communities.

A Quarter-Century of Community and Local Foods

Since the first declaration by the United States Department of Agriculture in 1999, National Farmers Market Week has grown in significance, highlighting the vital role that farmers markets play in connecting farmers with consumers. The Farmers Market Coalition has built  resources to aid in the celebration, includingThe National Farmers Market Week Toolkit which provides market managers and market lovers with the opportunity to promote, uplift and advocate on behalf of your local market. 

The Impact of Farmers Markets

Farmers markets provide numerous benefits that extend beyond fresh, local food. They support young and beginning farmers and entrepreneurs, ensuring that money spent at markets stays within the local economy. By reducing the distance food travels from farm to fridge, farmers markets support community resilience and food security. In 2023, it is estimated that 65 markets across Alaska supported 44 new and beginning farmers, saw over 600,000 visitors, and generated close to $7 million in sales.

The Unique Landscape of Alaska’s Farmers Markets

Alaska’s diverse geography means that its farmers markets are just as varied. These markets bring local foods to the state’s urban areas and reach remote communities where access to fresh food can be limited. This connectivity ensures that everyone can enjoy the benefits of fresh, locally grown produce. This season 10 markets across the state are participating in the AFMA SNAP Match Program where Quest customers have the opportunity to receive a $1 for $1 match up to $40, meaning that just $40 spent provides $80 in spending power. Alaska’s farmers markets offer unique solutions to get fresh food into more communities. 

Supporting Your Local Farmers Market

During this National Farmers Market Week, consider visiting one of Alaska’s 65 farmers markets, you can find a market near you in the Alaska Farmers Market Directory. By supporting these markets, you contribute to the local economy, promote sustainable agriculture, and enjoy some of the freshest food available. Here are a few  ways to get involved:

  1. Visit and Shop: Explore the diverse offerings at your local market and support local farmers by purchasing their products.
  2. Spread the Word: Talk to your neighbor, invite a friend, or use social media to share your farmers market experiences and encourage others to visit.
  3. Volunteer: Many markets welcome volunteers to help with events, setup, and operations.

Looking Ahead

As we celebrate this milestone, it’s also a time to look forward. The future of farmers markets depends on continued support from local communities, a vibrant agriculture sector, and policies that promote local food systems. By embracing these markets, we contribute to a healthier, more resilient food system.

Join us in celebrating 25 years of National Farmers Market Week and the farmers, vendors, and customers who make these markets thrive. Your participation not only supports local agriculture but also fosters a sense of community and well-being. See you at the market!