A national contest sponsored by American Farmland Trust (AFT) found the Williamsburg farmer’s market to be one of the highest-rated farmer’s markets in the country.
According to a news release from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Williamsburg farmer’s market took fourth place in all categories, which included People’s Choice, Focus on Farmers, Healthy Food for All, Pillar of the Community and Champion for the Environment.
“Farmers’ markets contribute to the economy of communities across the Commonwealth, while providing fresh and healthy products to Virginia consumers and a direct market for our producers,” Sandy Adams, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said in the release.
Each category touched on a different aspect of what AFT considers a successful market. The People’s Choice ranking was awarded to markets that “inspire their community to take action for family farmers.” The Focus on Farmers ranking was selected for markets that “play a critical role in helping family farmers stay on their land.” The Healthy Food For All ranking highlighted markets that “bring fresh foods to neighborhoods that need it most.” The Pillar of the Community ranking was for markets that serve as a “central gathering place” and the Champion For The Environment ranking was for markets that have been a “catalyst for change.”
In each category, Williamsburg was narrowly edged out by Charlottesville for the best market in the state. The clear national favorite was the farmer’s market in Winter Garden, Florida, which was ranked number one in every category.
“We have seen the rise in popularity of markets across the state,” Adams said. “We knew that Charlottesville and Williamsburg were very highly regarded in their communities. To see them near the top of a national list is particularly rewarding.”
Full contest results are available here: http://markets.farmland.org/.