Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey is encouraging Iowans to take advantage of fresh fruits and vegetables available at the more than 220 farmers markets in Iowa as part of National Farmers Market Week, which runs from Aug. 3 to 9 this year.
"We continue to see growing demand for fresh locally grown produce. And farmers markets are a great place to find healthy and delicious Iowa grown fruits, vegetables, meats and other products," Northey says. "National Farmers Market Week, and every week, is a great time to visit your local farmers market to support the vendors who are there and enjoy some of the great food grown in this state."
Contributions farmers make to the lives of consumers
Farmers Market Week honors and brings recognition to the contributions local farmers and locally-grown foods make in the lives of consumers. As part of National Farmers Market Week, Iowa ag secretary Northey highlighted the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Programs.
These programs provide eligible low-income seniors as well as women and children in Iowa with checks that can be redeemed for fresh, locally grown produce at authorized farmers markets and farm stands from June 1 through October 31, 2014. The Iowa Department of Ag & Land Stewardship administers the programs in partnership with the Iowa Department of Public Health and Iowa Department on Aging. For information contact Paul Ovrom, program administrator, at 515-242-6239 or [email protected].
Take advantage of free Iowa Farmers Market app for smartphones
Northey also encourages Iowans to take advantage of the free Iowa Farmers Market app for smartphones that can help Iowans locate the farmers markets in their area.
The app allows users to find the farmers market closest to them by using GPS location services or to search for specific farmers markets by city or zip code. Once they've located a market, the user can view the hours of the market, browse a list of vendors and see a phone number and email address of the market manager. App users can also leave reviews of the market and vendors and upload photos to share with others.
The app is free to download and is available through Apple's App store and Google Play by searching "Iowa Farmers Markets." The app for android phones can also be found here, and the link for Apple devices is here. The app was developed for the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship using funds from the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Grant funds are targeted for projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops that benefit the entire specialty crop industry.