The USDA Farmers Market is Officially Open

Acting Deputy Secretary Michael Scuse took off his jacket and put on his hat to gear up for the 18th annual USDA Farmers Market.

Tropical Storm Andrea didn’t wash out the official opening of the USDA Farmers Market on Friday as more than 200 people gathered inside the Whitten Building to witness the ringing of the bell. This year marks the 18th season of the USDA Farmers Market that will hosts 13 vendors from Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. “This farmers market helps meet the growing demand for fresh food and provides smaller producers an opportunity to have an additional source of income,” said acting Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse.

Within the past four years there has been a 67 percent increase in farmers markets across the county and “demand continues to grow,” said Scuse. Since 2006, $32 million in grant funding has supported farmers market programs across the United States, according to Anne Alonzo, administrator for the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). AMS is the USDA arm that supports the launch and growth of U.S. farmers markets and annually sponsors the one at USDA. This year’s event included appearances by Washington Redskins Safety Reed Doughty, Woodsy Owl and Smokey Bear.

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