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Southern Farmers Markets Recognized

As a part of their celebration of National Farmers Market Week, the "Farmers Market Coalition" (FMC) brought focus to "Seven Ways to Celebrate Farmers Market Impacts", and recognized a dozen diverse markets from across the country "for their innovation and demonstrated success in serving farmers, consumers, and communities." Two of these the exemplary markets are in the South. The "Hub City Farmers Market" in Spartanburg, South Carolina, is held in the light for the many ways in which it engages and serves the entire community – both rural and urban. FMC reports that, “Hub City is an apt name for a market that facilitates so many activities in the community, engaging citizens in both through nutrition education and physical activities. The market facilitates donations of excess fruits and vegetables to local soup kitchens, and encourages volunteerism from among the community leaders. Through its community gardening program, the HCFM also provides technical assistance in the location, soil amendment, planting, and harvesting of shared gardens that allow people of all income levels to grow nutritious food for their families.”

The "Fayetteville Farmers Market" in Fayetteville, Arkansas, is recognized as a leader in putting farmers directly next to the consumer, squarely in the center of the system. The Fayetteville Market is run by a small staff and all of the market vendor-members have voting privileges on major market decisions. “It’s a sad truth that many farmers today are at the bottom of the food chain, with little say in where, when, or how their products ultimately reach the customer. The Fayetteville Farmers Market is one of the several thousand in America offering farmers a stake in market governance, and a producer-only policy that ensures a level playing field,” says Stacy Miller of the Farmers Market Coalition.