The 20th annual Iowa Farmers Market Workshop is slated for Sat., Feb. 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church in Des Moines. During this time, vendors will learn the latest in food safety, insurance tips and get updates on the Double Up Food Bucks program, which helps low-income families purchase more fruits and vegetables. To support Iowa Farmers Market vendors, Iowa Farm Bureau, the state’s largest general farm organization, will again donate one million farmers market bags for workshop attendees to give to their patrons for the 12th consecutive year.
Iowa ranks fourth in the number of farmers markets in the United States and second in the number of markets per capita. According to research done by Iowa State University, farmers markets in Iowa also contribute an estimated $59.4 million in gross sales to the state economy, generating $17.8 million in payroll and nearly 600 jobs in the state.
Boone County Farm Bureau members Greg and Polly Rinehart, whose family sells a variety of produce and ready-to-eat sandwiches at the Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market, appreciate the support they receive from Iowans who shop farmers markets and the bags Iowa Farm Bureau provides.
“Our family, including the grandkids, enjoy the time we spend meeting new people at farmers markets,” said Greg Rinehart. “As farmers, we love answering the questions our customers have about how their food is grown, and we’ve created some great friendships with the people who see us every Saturday during the farmers market season.”
For more information on the workshop visit http://www.iafarmersmarkets.org. To find the dates and times of all of Iowa’s farmers markets visit the Iowa Department of Land and Ag Stewardship website at http://www.iowaagriculture.gov/horticultureandFarmersMarket.asp.
(To receive the farmers market bags provided by Iowa Farm Bureau, vendors must register and attend the Iowa Farmers Market workshop.)