The Farmers Market in Hershey recently earned sixth place of 20 leading farmers markets across the nation, vying for the title of America’s Favorite Farmers Market in the boutique market category. The Farmers Market in Hershey also placed third among all markets in Pennsylvania. In this year’s contest more than 90,000 farmers market shoppers voted for more than 1,700 participating farmers markets in American Farmland Trust’s third annual contest.
The Farmers Market in Hershey features unique community wellness programming that includes free, weekly health screenings provided by Penn State Hershey Medical Center staff and students, chef demos, recipe cards and appearances by other local health experts.
The Farmers Market in Hershey received 216 votes from supportive shoppers. Here is what one voter for the market had to say about why it should be named one of America’s Favorite Farmers Markets:
"Organic, local, community-minded -- these are several key attributes of the Farmers Market in Hershey. They actively engage farmers and producers, local businesses, local health centers, individuals and nonprofit organizations to come together for the common goal of bringing healthy awareness to consumers. It is truly a community experience. I love it!"
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s farmers market directory, the number of farmers markets across the nation increased by 17 percent between 2010 and 2011. Support for farmers markets helps to provide income opportunities for farmers. The rising interest for local food from nearby farms highlights the value of protecting farmland to meet demand.
The America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest is a part of American Farmland Trust’s No Farms No Food Campaign, which raises awareness of the dangers of farmland loss by making connections to food. Farms near metropolitan areas produce 91 percent of the nation’s market value of fruit, 78 percent of vegetables, and 67 percent of dairy products.
To view the top 20 leader-boards for the America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest, visit http://www.farmland.org/vote.
The Farmers Market in Hershey is located just of the west side of the Medical Center and College of Medicine campus at 1215 Research Blvd., Hummelstown, Pa., and is open from 3 to 7 p.m. beginning in May and ending in October. For more information, visit http://www.facebook.com/farmersmarketinhershey.