Farmers market named tops in state, one of top 100 nationally

Ralph B. Davis rdavis@civitasmedia.com

September 18, 2013

PRESTONSBURG — The Floyd County Farmers Market has been named the most celebrated farmers market in Kentucky, as well as one of the top 100 most celebrated markets in America.

Those designations were conferred by American Farmland Trust, which held a summer-long contest asking people to vote online for their favorite farmers market. At the end of the campaign, Floyd County had received 185 votes to lead the top three markets in Kentucky. Franklin was second in the state, with 65 votes, while Community Farmers Market in Bowling Green came in third, with 59 votes.

The tally was enough to also place Floyd County in the top 100 farmers markets nationwide, coming in at number 23.

For farmers market manager Todd Howard, the news was a surprise, as well as confirmation that the market has come a long way in a very short time.

“We started this market over four years ago, and those few involved early on felt a market could work in Floyd County,” Howard said. “We felt like we would see some success, but I’d be lying if I envisioned our market where it’s at today. Based on the overwhelming support we receive on a weekly basis, we are demonstrating the potential of agriculture in East Kentucky, and we are only getting started.”

The I Love My Farmers Market Celebration encouraged consumers to pledge to spend $10 at their local farmers market. Each pledge honored our nation’s hardworking farmers, our community, and Your Market. This year’s celebration helped put more than $250,000 directly into the pockets of family farmers.

“The I Love My Farmers Market Celebration was about celebrating the unique qualities of farmers markets throughout the nation and the important role that these markets play in keeping family farmers on the land,” said American Farmland Trust Vice President of External Affairs, Susan Sink.

Sink said that supporting farmers markets is also a show of support for the local community. For every $10 spent on local food, as much as $7.80 is re-spent in the local community, supporting local jobs and businesses. Also, the farmer takes home almost $8 to $9, instead of the $1.58 that farmers and ranchers receive when food is purchased through a retail market.

American Farmland Trust has provided every winner a badge and “No Farms No Food” materials to highlight the role farmers markets play in keeping farmers on their land.

The “I Love My Farmers Market Celebration” is part of American Farmland Trust’s “No Farms No Food Campaign.” The celebration marks the fifth year that American Farmland Trust has hosted a summer-long event to honor family farmers and to raise the national awareness about farmers markets.

The Floyd County Farmers Market is open Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the municipal parking lot, in downtown Prestonsburg. The market’s last sale date this year is Oct. 5.