Missouri among top farmers market states

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Missouri is among the top 10 states in the number of farmers markets with 245 listed in the National Farmers Market Directory. Since 2008, farmers market establishments in Missouri have grown by 74 percent.
Richmond, Lawson, Excelsior Springs and Orrick all have farmers markets in Ray County.
“Part of the Department of Agriculture’s mission is to provide value-added opportunities for Missouri’s producers to connect with their customers,” Missouri USDA Director Richard Fordyce said. “Farmers markets are one way we can build that relationship between those who grow the food and those who eat it.”
“Farming has always been a part of Missouri’s rich history and economic makeup,” said Mike Downing, director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development. “Farmers markets provide an excellent way for customers to connect with local producers and learn about the food grown in their communities. By shopping at a farmers market, we are supporting our communities and exposed to healthier food choices.”
Agriculture is a significant economic catalyst for nearly every region of the state. According to 2012 Census of Agriculture data, the value of all agricultural sales in Missouri was $9.16 billion, an increase of 21.8 percent since 2007.  Missouri is the second largest state in terms of number of farms with 99,171 farms, and ranks 12th in terms of most farm land, with 28,266,137 acres.
Most farmers markets will only be open for a few more weeks to display fall produce and staples – pumpkins, gourds, mums and other fall consumer favorites.

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