Baton Rouge, La., July 28, 2014 – Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said let us all show we support our local farmers markets.
“The week of August 3 through 9, 2014 was declared "National Farmers Market Week" by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. While many people often enjoy the benefits of their local farmers markets, this is a way to bring additional attention to those who do not frequent these markets,” said Strain.
The declaration was made via an official proclamation signed by Vilsack. This year marks the 15th Annual National Farmers Market Week recognizing the important role that farmers markets play in the agricultural and food economy.
“It’s important to support your farmers markets because it’s a great way to buy fresh, Louisiana grown fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat products among other things. It’s a way to visit with our local producers and support the local economy, not to mention all the added health benefits of buying fresh food,” said Strain.
The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry secured a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to participate in the 2014 Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) allowing senior citizens to buy locally grown fresh fruits, vegetables, cut herbs and honey at farmers markets and roadside stands. This program helps to increase access and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables by seniors, as well as supports local farming producers. Seniors who applied for the program this year have until November 30 to visit their local farmers market or roadside stand to utilize their vouchers. While the program is closed for this year, applications will be accepted again in March of 2015. Strain encourages senior citizens 60 years and older who meet certain income requirements to contact their parish Council on Aging next year to participate. In New Orleans, seniors can contact Catholic Charities.
For a list of local farmers markets in your area, go to the LDAF website at www.ldaf.la.gov
. For more information about the FMNP, go to the website or call 985-345-9483.