U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue officially declared August 2 through 8, 2020 National Farmers Market Week. The USDA for 21 years has recognized National Farmers Market Week trying to support local farmers by encouraging families to shop at farmers markets to purchase direct from farmers and other vendors. The message of this years celebration emphasizes the work farmers markets have done keeping the markets open and products available to consumers during the global pandemic.

In the proclamation signed by Secretary of Agriculture Perdue noted that "farmers markets and other agricultural direct marketing outlets contribute approximately $9 billion each year to the U.S. economy and serve as significant outlets for small to medium, new and beginning, and veteran agricultural producers."

Farmers did not "shelter in place" during the COVID-19 pandemic and organizers of local farmers markets did not either! I know that the Faribault Farmers Market even had a Winter Farmers Market and implemented procedures to keep venders and shoppers safe. It is nice to see Farmers Markets and those organizing them and producers in many communities in our listening area get some recognition!

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