What states have the most farmers markets?
Fun Farmers Market Facts
Farmers markets are a staple of basically every major metropolitan city across the United States, especially in the summertime! The number of farmers markets has grown dramatically in recent years, from just under 2,000 in 1994 to more than 8,700 markets currently registered in the USDA Farmers Market Directory. This is super exciting news as it helps support local economies and enriches consumers with more nutrient dense foods.
What states are living and breathing the farmers market craze the most?
According to USDA's 2014 National Farmers Market Directory, the states with the most farmers markets reported are:
California (764 markets)
New York (638 markets)
Michigan (339 markets)
Ohio (311 markets)
Illinois (309 markets)
Massachusetts (306 markets)
Pennsylvania (297 markets)
Wisconsin (295 markets)
Virginia (249 markets)
Missouri (245 markets)
All geographic regions saw increases in their market listings, with the most growth in the South. The 10 states with the biggest increases in the numbers of farmers markets include Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Arkansas, North Carolina, Montana, Florida and Nebraska.
Unfortunately, southern and Great Plaines states have the least amount of traction in farmers markets especially in comparison to the Pacific Northwest and the East Coast. However, the USDA is trying to change that with their StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity, which has steadily increased investment in rural communities through intensive outreach and stronger partnership opportunites. Half of the states that saw the largest increase are direct reciepients of the program so it has clearly been working!