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WHEREAS, the number of Virginia’s farmers markets has increased 184 percent, from 88 markets in 2006 to 250 in 2018; and
WHEREAS, farmers markets provide a way for new farmers to enter the marketplace by selling directly to the public; and
WHEREAS, farmers markets provide communities with a healthy food environment where farmers and neighbors come together to learn about agriculture, nutrition, and cooking; and
WHEREAS, farmers markets play an important role in expanding healthy food access for Virginians by participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); and
WHEREAS, vendors at a farmers market educate their customers on agriculture, farming practices, and environmental stewardship, including the conservation of land, water, and other natural resources; and
WHEREAS, the economic impact of farmers markets includes not only direct benefits to farmers and business owners, but also benefits to the community by stimulating downtown revitalization, enhancing parks and waterfronts, and preserving farmland through economic viability; and
WHEREAS, while Virginia has vibrant farmers markets in all parts of the state, a new one this year is especially notable; the weekly OntheSquareVA market in Capitol Square is the first Commonwealth of Virginia-sponsored market in recent history; and
WHEREAS, farmers markets are good for the economy, consumer health, and communities across the Commonwealth;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize August 5-11, 2018, as VIRGINIA FARMERS MARKET WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.