MOUNT VERNON – The Mount Vernon, Ohio Farmers Market is encouraging supporters to participate in America’s 13th annual Farmers Market Celebration, which runs through September 19, 2021. Shoppers are encouraged to come to the market Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to noon and then visit markets.farmland.org, where they can endorse the market, putting it in the running for national recognition and cash prizes.
As of Tuesday, August 31, the local market is in first place in Ohio and 35th nationwide.
American Farmland Trust, a national nonprofit dedicated to saving farmland, promoting sound farming practices, and keeping farmers on the land, has run the Celebration for 13 consecutive years, elevating the increasingly essential role farmers markets play in providing communities with access to fresh, locally grown food and connecting farmers directly with their customers. In 2021, the Farmers Market Coalition has joined the Celebration as a new partner and co-sponsor of the event.
“In many regions, especially during these unprecedented times, farmers markets have been vital to keeping existing farms in business and enabling new farms to get started,” said John Piotti, American Farmland Trust president and CEO. “Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, farmers markets have served as essential businesses, helping to connect farmers to customers, and customers to local, healthy food.”
To recognize the vital role farmers markets are playing this year, AFT will, in addition to recognizing top markets by region, offer cash prizes for the markets that finish in the top three of the “People’s Choice” category— $2,500 for first, $1,500 for second and $1,000 for third. These funds will be awarded to markets for marketing, communications, and other needs that help expand the market’s reach and impact. The voting continues through September 19th.
Mount Vernon Farmers Market Manager Marty Trese said “Shoppers at our market tell us they eat more fruits and vegetables due to our market and they say are vendors are welcoming. We will continue our high level of customer service each Saturday on the Public Square through October.”
To learn more and participate, visit markets.farmland.org today. In addition to cash and credit local shoppers can participate in the market in several ways. SNAP/EBT and WIC benefits are accepted at the market as well as Senior Tokens from the Knox County Task Force for Older Adults and the Knox County Commissioners. Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers can also be used.