Shoppers can find lots of local produce in season now as farmers markets are hitting their peak. Shopping local helps support farmers, ensuring access to local foods.

by | Jun 7, 2022

Farmers markets are bustling places across North Carolina with many fresh fruits, vegetables and meats being available now for shoppers. Supporting farmers markets helps support North Carolina farmers who face significant increases in input costs.

Today’s Topic with Southern Farm Network’s Mike Davis

Talking Points:

  • Weren’t we just celebrating Christmas? And talking about North Carolina Christmas trees?
  • It’s hard to believe it’s June, but one of the good things about June is that as consumers we can find plenty of local fruits, vegetables and meats at farmers markets, grocery stores and restaurants across the state.
  • The farmers markets come alive with activities and delicious products and my wife and I enjoy being able to support local farmers when we shop.
  • Our Marketing Division operates four farmers markets across the state in Raleigh, Charlotte, Greensboro and Asheville. But marketing specialists also work with over 100 local markets scattered around the state.
  • Each market is important as it provides a venue for farmers and consumers to come together, helping ensure we have access to local foods.
  • When I farmed full-time I operated a produce stand just down the road from my farm. It was important to our bottom line as a farming operation and I felt a great deal of pride knowing I was producing food for my neighbors.
  • According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, about 8 percent of farmers market their products directly to consumers.
  • It used to be a farmer produced enough food for his family with maybe a little extra to sell. Today, each farmer produces enough to feed 166 people.
  • I am grateful that improved efficiency and increased yields on the farm allow us to continue to enjoy an abundant and safe food supply.
  • While prices for food are up, so too are the inputs costs for farmers – things like fertilizer (triple the price in 2021), the price of diesel fuel (at or near record prices) and products to manage pests.
  • The bottom line is farmers are not getting rich.
  • In fact, these are challenging time for farmers who are having to closely manage their costs and make tough decisions about how much production inputs they can afford and what can they cut just to keep their operations viable.
  • Food production will have to increase to keep up with a growing population, so we need farmers to be successful and profitable to continue to have access to what they produce.
  • I encourage everyone to look for local products wherever they shop. You can find out more about local farmers markets and our state-operated markets on the department’s marketing webpages.