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Albemarle County Newsroom

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County Celebrates National Farmers' Market Week August 1-8
8/3/2010

Building visitors, staff can purchase local produce at COB Farmers’ Market on Wednesday                             

Albemarle County is celebrating National Farmers’ Market Week with several special activities.  On Wednesday, August 4, the County will bring the market to the County Office Building on McIntire Road – building users can visit the second floor lobby between noon and 3:00 pm to buy food from local farms provided by the local food hub.  The market will be run by the Boys and Girls Club Teen Leadership Group and proceeds will go to the Club field trip fund.   

Also on August 4, an updated Green Resources Map showing all the local Farmers’ Markets (including locations and dates and times of operation) will be posted to the county website at www.albemarle.org.  The Green Resources Map also features all area recycling and reuse opportunities along with other resources like park and ride lots, county parks, rain gardens, etc.  Albemarle County encourages local citizens to celebrate the outstanding success of our local farmers markets by visiting one of the markets listed on the map or in the surrounding region to get the freshest produce available and support our local agricultural economy.  

What you need to know about Farmers’ Markets:

  • Virginia’s farmers’ markets continue to grow, from 88 markets in 2004 to 190 in 2010 with more added weekly, representing an increase of nearly 115 percent in six years –over the past three years, the number of farmers markets in the 5-county TJPDC region increased from  8 to 16.  
  • Farmers’ markets foster community engagement, support local farmers, promote health and wellness and provide access points for healthy food in neighborhoods
  • By featuring fresh, delicious, local products, farmers’ markets provide the public with ready access to high quality fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, organic items, cheeses, baked goods, meats, homemade preserves and more
  • Because fresher produce retains more nutrients, farmers’ markets give consumers access to just-picked fruits and vegetables that contain optimum amounts of nutrients which can help lower the risk for certain cancers, heart disease and stroke; reduce high blood pressure; and help with weight management
  • Farmers markets are often the first point of entry into the marketplace for small and medium size producers. Farmers markets help small and medium size producers incubate their businesses and opportunities and can offer supplemental income sources to producers who participate in other distribution models.
  • Virginia’s farmers’ markets enhance economic growth and positive social impact throughout the state, meaning more dollars are generated and stay in the community they serve

Agriculture is Virginia’s largest industry by far, with nothing else coming a close second. The industry has an economic impact of $55 billion annually and provides more than 357,000 jobs in the Commonwealth. The industries of agriculture and forestry together have a total economic impact of $79 billion and provide more than 501,000 jobs in the Commonwealth.  Every job in agriculture and forestry supports 1.5 jobs elsewhere in the Virginia economy.
Production agriculture employs nearly 60,000 farmers and workers in Virginia and generates approximately $2.9 billion in total output. Value-added industries, those that depend on farm commodities, employ an additional 76,000 workers and generate $26 billion in total industrial output. Agriculture-related industries contribute an additional 221,000 jobs and nearly $26 billion in total output. 


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