Montana joins markets across the country in celebrating National Farmers Market Week August 1-7, 2021. The National Center for Appropriate Technology and the Montana Farmers Market Network encourages everyone to celebrate the “Bounty of the Big Sky” by shopping at local farmers markets this week and every week.
Montana’s market managers voted on the statewide farmers market week slogan Bounty of the Big Sky to celebrate the food and artisanal crafts featured at farmers markets across the state.
“National Farmers Market Week is a great time to bring attention to the bounty of locally grown products that can be purchased at farmers markets,” says Tammy Howard, Montana Farmers Market Network coordinator. “You can find a variety of products, including fruits, vegetables, baked goods, homemade jams and jellies, handmade soaps, beef, poultry, eggs, honey, and artisan crafts at farmers markets throughout the year in many communities.”
Amid a global pandemic, farmers markets — like all other small businesses — have innovated to continue operations for the farmers and communities that depend on them. Market managers have been at the forefront of adapting rapid solutions and innovating to protect staff, customers, and community. When conventional food supply chains failed at the start of the pandemic, farmers markets and local food systems clearly displayed the resiliency of short supply chains and interest in local foods spiked nationwide. Now, farmers markets are headed into another year of building resilience in our community and bringing people together.
There are more than 70 farmers markets in Montana according to the Montana Department of Agriculture. Of those, 24 accept SNAP benefits making fresh, locally produced products accessible to more Montanans. These farmers markets also participate in the Double SNAP Dollars Program which matches a customer’s SNAP benefit. The Double SNAP Dollars program has served nearly 6,400 Montanans and has recirculated more than $500,00 to local farmers, ranchers, and farmers markets.
National Farmers Market Week is an annual celebration of farmers markets coordinated by the Farmers Market Coalition, a membership-based nonprofit organization that supports farmers markets nationwide. The Farmers Market Coalition has partnered with NCAT to coordinate a campaign that is centered around the essential role that farmers markets play in Montana’s local food systems and in developing local resilience in communities.
“In the last year farmers market operators have gone to herculean lengths to keep their markets open and to protect their communities,” said Ben Feldman, Farmers Market Coalition Executive Director. “Throughout National Farmers Market Week 2021, we will be highlighting the vital work of farmers market operators across the nation that provide a space for communities to come together around shared values and work together to change our food system.”
To find a farmers market near you visit AERO’s Abundant Montana Directory.