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WHEREAS, the number of Virginia’s farmers’ markets has increased 212 percent, from 88 markets in 2006 to 275 in 2019; and
WHEREAS, their popularity has grown so much that the Virginia Tourism Corporation recently added a new logo to their LOVE line: Virginia is for Farmers’ Market Lovers; and
WHEREAS, farmers markets offer ways for new farmers to enter the marketplace by selling directly to the public; and
WHEREAS, farmers markets provide communities with healthy food environments where the abundance of locally-grown produce helps increase fresh fruit and vegetable consumption; and
WHEREAS, farmers markets play important roles in expanding healthy food access for Virginians by participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); and
WHEREAS, vendors at farmers markets often educate 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 not only includes direct benefits to farmers and affiliated businesses, but also benefits to the community by stimulating downtown revitalization, enhancing community engagement and preserving farmland through economic viability;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize August 4-10, 2019, as VIRGINIA FARMERS MARKET WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.