The “America’s Favorite Farmers Markets” contest concluded on Aug. 31 and the Las Cruces Downtown Farmers & Crafts Market found itself dominantly placed as the No. 1 market in New Mexico and No. 9 nationally for markets with more than 56 vendors.
The Las Cruces Farmers Market is one of my personal favorite events in Las Cruces, NM. It is not only a great place to shop, it is also a great destination for out of town guests and an excellent way to support local businesses.
The Las Cruces Downtown Farmers & Crafts Market had a total of 651 votes, placing it 551 votes ahead of the second place winner within New Mexico – the Santa Fe Farmers Market. The Las Cruces market was also the only market within New Mexico to rank nationally in any of the contest categories. In fact, the Las Cruces market was only one vote shy of an eighth-place tie with the Chattanooga Market in Tennessee.
The Las Cruces Downtown Farmers & Crafts Market, in a press release last week, expressed gratitude to its vendors, customers and the Las Cruces community for helping achieve the “milestone.” The farmers market will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2011, and will be looking at new ways to expand and catalogue the history of the market.
The America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest is hosted each year by American Farmland Trust (AFT). The online contest is a nationwide challenge to see which of America’s farmers markets can rally the most support from their communities. The Las Cruces Downtown Farmers & Crafts Market will push even harder to advance its ranking to No. 1 in the nation next year, according to the City of Las Cruces.
Farmers markets are a vital link between local farms and their supporting communities, providing fresh and healthy food and an experience that cannot be matched anywhere else, said a city press release.
“Farmers markets are one of the best ways for consumers to support local farms and farmers,” said Julia Freedgood, managing director for AFT’s Growing Local initiative. “A great way to find seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, farmers markets also support public health and economic development opportunities in our communities.”
The 2007 U.S. Agricultural Census reports a 49 percent growth in sales from farms directly to consumers since 2002 – representing $1.2 billon that stayed in local communities.
The Las Cruces Downtown Farmers & Crafts Market is open on Main Street Wednesday and Saturday mornings yearround. For more information about the Las Cruces Farmers & Crafts Market, call Eric Montgomery at 541-2288 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information on this year’s AFT competition and complete rankings across the country can be found at www. farmland.org.
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