CropLife America Celebrates National Farmers Market Week
WASHINGTON, D.C. – CropLife America (CLA) is pleased to join the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other farm-related organizations in celebrating National Farmers Market Week, August 7-13, 2016. With less than 1% of the American population employed as growers, farmers markets help consumers better connect with the food they eat and give farmers the opportunity to talk about the technology and methods they use. The crop protection industry is proud to support America’s farmers by developing products that help growers prevent food loss on the farm and make sure healthy produce makes it to consumers without damage from insect pests, weeds and crop disease.
Developed in coordination with the American Farm Bureau Federation, CLA has produced a number of downloadable infographics to celebrate National Farmers Market Week and educate consumers about the importance of crop protection in the growing process:
- Reducing Food Loss Starting on the Farm
- Support Farmers Markets!
- Minimizing Damage to Crops
- Cultivating Stronger Plants
“Consumers want to know how food is grown, and farmers have a lot to say – making farmers markets not only important but indispensable,” stated Jay Vroom, president and CEO of CLA. “One-on-one dialogue between a farmer and a mother, a chef, or a teacher, for instance, helps consumers better understand today’s agriculture. As the conversation around reducing food loss increases, it becomes even more important for us all to understand how food is grown and how we can all help make that process more efficient. The crop protection industry remains committed to developing the most precise, eco-conscious products that help farmers reduce loss on the farm level. Our members provide choices to growers – products for application by conventional and organic farmes alike. By doing our part, we can help farmers get nutritious produce to your table.”
Across the U.S., the number of farmers markets continues to increase, with more than 8,500 farmers markets in the U.S. in 2015. In a 2015 survey of farmers selling goods at farmers markets, 80% of respondents said that they talk about farming practices with customers and educate them about agriculture and its interactions with the natural environment. The same survey found that 48% of respondents used integrated pest management, information on the life cycle of pests, and their interaction with the environment to manage and prevent crop damage.
“Farmers markets present an opportune time for farmers to discuss the importance of crop protection with consumers,” Vroom added. “We encourage consumers to ask farmers about how they protect their crops and talk about today’s growing methods. The conversation on food needs input from everyone; we hope to inspire consumers and farmers to engage in thoughtful dialogue about agricultural practices and technology during National Farmers Market Week and after.”
CLA encourages foodies, moms, chefs, growers, workers in the crop protection industry, and anyone interested in food production to get involved in the conversation on sustainable food production online and interact with CLA on social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Show your support for U.S. agriculture on social media by taking a selfie at a farmers market, on a farm, in a kitchen, at a café, or any other food-inspired location and tag it #AgLoudAgProud. For more information on how farmers use crop protection technology to grow healthy produce, visit www.CropLifeAmerica.org.
 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Ag 101. Ag 101 was originally produced in 2002 and has been periodically updated. Copyright 2002 by Purdue Research Foundation. http://www.epa.gov/oecaagct/ag101/demographics.html
 (2015) Direct Market Farmers: National Survey. American Farmland Trust and Farmers Market Coalition. Unpublished raw data. https://farmersmarketcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/FMC_TalkingPoints_2016.pdf