Markets make their mark
Kansas, Missouri venues ranked as nation’s favorites
The top two farmers markets in the nation are right here in MFA territory, according to the 2022 America’s Farmers Market Celebration. As part of the event, more than 2,000 markets were included in a public poll, with those receiving the most votes declared the national winners. The celebration also recognizes top markets in five regions nationwide and in all 50 states.
National winners are awarded $5,000 for first, $2,500 for second, $1,500 for third, $750 for fourth and $250 for fifth. These funds are awarded to markets for marketing, communications and other needs that help expand their reach and impact.
In 2022, first place went to Overland Park Farmers Market in Overland Park, Kan., just outside Kansas City. Although it’s been around for more than 40 years, this was the market’s first year competing in the national contest. The market is open from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays at 7950 Marty Street. For details, visit opkansas.org/recreation-fun/farmers-market.
Coming in second was Columbia Farmers Market in Columbia, Mo., which had also topped the list in 2021.
“To be recognized as one of the top markets in the country, for the second year in a row, is such an honor for our organization,” said Corrina Smith, Columbia Farmers Market executive director. “Our community has supported our hard-working farmers and producers for 42 years and has allowed us to grow into the thriving organization we are now. We owe such a big thank you to the mid-Missouri community for supporting our producers and voting for us in this competition.”
The Columbia market is open April through October on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon, May 24 through Sept. 27 on Wednesdays from 3 to 7 p.m., and November through March on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. The market is held at the MU Health Care Pavilion at Columbia’s Agriculture Park, 1769 West Ash Street. Visit columbiafarmersmarket.org for more information.
The celebration, sponsored by the American Farmland Trust and the Farmers Market Coalition, is the only ranking of America’s favorite farmers markets. The 2023 contest is now underway, giving customers a chance to vote for their favorite farmers market through Sept. 18. Cast your vote and learn more about past winners at markets.farmland.org.
Image cutline: The Columbia Farmers Market was ranked second in the nation by popular vote in the 2022 America’s Farmers Market Celebration. You can vote in the 2023 contest now through Sept. 18 at markets.farmland.org. The Columbia venue is a year-round, producer-only farmers market featuring products sourced within a 50-mile radius. Saturday customer counts regularly surpass 5,000, and the vendor membership has expanded to 85 local farmers, producers and artisans. The market was established in 1980 and moved into its new home in the Columbia Agriculture Park in 2019.
CLICK HERE to read more articles from this August/September 2023 issue of Today's Farmer Magazine.
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