The Top American Farmers’ Markets Ranked

Winter Park Farmers' Market FEATUREEach year, American Farmland Trust ranks the top farmers’ markets from around the country. This year, Winter Garden Farmers Market in Winter Garden, FL, took the top slot in all five categories the association ranks:

  1. People’s Choice
  2. Focus On Farmers
  3. Healthy Food For All
  4. Pillar Of The Community
  5. Champion For The Environment

There are 50 farmers’ markets on each of these lists.

The American Farmland Trust is a national non-profit that promotes local farms to consumers in an effort to “saving America’s farm and ranch land, promoting sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land.” as it website states.

The Top Markets That Focus On Farmers

With the high level of controversy around non-farmers posing as local growers at farmers’ markets, the top markets for Focus On Farmers caught our attention. Here’s the ranking:

2016 Top 10 farmers markets chart

How American Farmland Selects The Markets

We reached out to Ameican Farmland Trust’s Robert Connelly to ask him about the rankings system.

Q. How are the winning markets selected?

A. American Farmland Trust’s Farmers Market Celebration encourages market customers, family farmers, community activists — anyone who believes they’ve got the best farmers’ market in the country — to endorse their market in four special areas: Focus on Farmers, Healthy Food for All, Pillar of the Community, and Champion for the Environment. Participants visit LoveMyFarmersMarket.org to recommend and endorse their farmers’ market as one of the best in class. Markets that place in any of the above categories will receive a special online logo honoring their achievement that they may include on their website for ultimate bragging rights, No Farms No Food gear, and recognition on the Celebration’s national website.

Q. How did the five categories come about?

A. For the first six years of the Farmers Market Celebration, American Farmland Trust asked family farmer supporters to vote for their favorite farmers’ market. Through the years, we would receive an overflow of messages from individuals wanting to tell us why their farmers’ market was special. We loved hearing about how each market was unique and wanted to honor these markets for their great work, so we identified five key aspects found at exceptional farmers markets that help family farmers thrive.

Q. In light of the investigative articles that have been written this past year about fake farmers at the markets, I’m especially interested in the Focus on Farmers category. What are the criteria for this group? And how are the farms judged?

A. We encourage the farmers’ market supporters to weigh a few critical questions when identifying if their market focuses on farmers. We ask: Farmers’ markets play a critical role in helping family farmers stay on their land. Does your farmers’ market primarily serve family farmers, and educate your community about the issues they face? Each market is unique and can be a huge help at assisting next generation farmers at getting and staying on the land.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

4 comments on “The Top American Farmers’ Markets Ranked

  1. I really think there should be a category for the original farmers market, those that are farmstands, where produce is sold by a farmer selling their own grown produce. These are not the community extension agents social gatherings, but the original farmers markets. We have had one in Montana and are now going into our 34th year.
    Greg Johnson

    1. I agree totally with Mr. Johnson. Too many peddlers at today’s markets selling culled vegetables and the consumer thinking the peddler is the farmer. This is disgraceful and you should be ashamed. You want to sell at a farmers market, go out and grow it. Most of the peddlers couldn’t handle the long hours and hard work.

  2. This list has a definite “East of the Mississippi” geographic bias. California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado or Texas had no outstanding farm markets? Really?

  3. This ranking is based on participation by anyone and allows repetitive volunteered “voting”. A prior Market I attended had a large campaign by vendors and patrons to vote as many times as possible every day until the last day of the survey. It is not an accurate reflection of the top Farmers Markets! Greg and Tom hit the nail on the head, many “farmers” markets are nothing but resellers claiming they are farmers. As a real farmer, it is both annoying and degrading to have impostors with little knowledge or sweat equity undercutting and competing at a farmers market where, if allowed, should at a minimum be identified as a reseller or grocer.

Farm Marketing Stories
Apples & Pears
November 2, 2016
Market In Wisconsin Gets Confused For iPhone Dealer
The Apple Store in Green Bay, WI, fields calls about technical support or new releases. Read More
Citrus
October 27, 2016
$45M In Grants Available For Value-Added Producers
Funding allocated for growers interested in developing new products, expanding business opportunities. Read More
Farm Marketing
October 14, 2016
Smart, Easy Ideas From Quarry Hill Orchards
A new generation is taking the reins at Quarry Hill Orchards in New Berlin, OH, and they're bringing a lot of fresh ideas on how to draw more customers with them. Read More
Farm Marketing
October 13, 2016
What Next? What To Do After A Natural Disaster At Your Farm
Between drought in the Northeast, forest fires in the West, and Hurricane Matthew in the Southeast, many growers and marketers are trying to figure out what their next steps should be. Read More
Farm Marketing
October 5, 2016
Consider Adding A Teal Pumpkin Display This Year
You’ll want to get in on this big 2016 Halloween trend! If you sell pumpkins this fall, make sure you Read More
Farm Marketing
September 30, 2016
Insect Issues Making The News In September
A number of stories have hit the news this month, from trying to control spotted lantern fly in Pennsylvania to calling researchers relying on mud daubers to go where they can't in a search for an invasive spider. Read More
heartland-events-corn-maze-feature
Farm Marketing
September 29, 2016
Kids Up For Adoption Get A Boost From Heartland Maze
The Heartland Maze has gone the extra mile and created a maze design that promotes a cause. Together with a Read More
Farm Marketing
September 29, 2016
Coalition To Presidential Candidates: Reform America’s Food System
The coalition Plate Of The Union would like local farms to play a more central roll in U.S. food policy. Read More
Farm Marketing
September 25, 2016
New York Governor Signs Additional Legislation To Bolster State’s Craft Beverage Industry
Bills allow farm wineries, breweries, and cideries to sell New York-made farm beverages by the glass. Read More
Farm Marketing
September 15, 2016
8 Pumpkin Decorating Ideas Seen On Pinterest
Pinterest Inspired Pumpkins   Pinterest is where those in a decorating frame of mind go to get ideas. And if Read More
Farm Marketing
September 15, 2016
Show Off Your Corn Maze Design
Farm marketers have amazing imaginations, if their corn mazes are anything to judge by. Share your own design, and we'll include it in an upcoming slideshow. Read More
local-food-restaurant-dinner-free-from-pixabay
Farm Marketing
September 15, 2016
Is The Local Food Movement Over?
Writer Kristen Wile wrote a series of articles delving into the local food movement, and says the word "local" is overused, to the point that many chefs avoid using it. So American Farm Marketer asked her about her views on if local food and farms, and if she thinks that the farm-to-table movement is over. Read More
Farm Marketing
September 2, 2016
Farm Market Ideas Making The News
You hold events, hoping to attract large crowds to your farm market. Here are four promotional ideas that are going Read More
Farm Marketing
September 1, 2016
14 State Fair Snacks You Should Consider Adding To Your Farm Market
You're competing with dozens of other local fall festivals. You need to find a way to stand out. So why not take a page from fairs and add buzz-worthy food items to your offering? Read More
Farm Marketing
September 1, 2016
How Add-On Sales Helps Franjo Farms Stay Profitable
In some cases, a higher profit margin line of products just might be the icing on the cake that keeps a farm business going. Read More
The Latest
Farm Marketing
January 20, 2017
Direct Marketing Revenue Topped $8 Billi…
USDA has released its first-ever survey on direct marketing, and it shows that the local food industry is huge. Read More
Farm Management
December 12, 2016
Atypical Marketing Strategies To Conside…
Everyone’s No. 1 marketing strategy should be to know your market. Even if you don’t care to admit it, your customer Read More
Apples & Pears
November 2, 2016
Market In Wisconsin Gets Confused For iP…
The Apple Store in Green Bay, WI, fields calls about technical support or new releases. Read More
Citrus
October 27, 2016
$45M In Grants Available For Value-Added…
Funding allocated for growers interested in developing new products, expanding business opportunities. Read More
Farm Marketing
October 14, 2016
Smart, Easy Ideas From Quarry Hill Orcha…
A new generation is taking the reins at Quarry Hill Orchards in New Berlin, OH, and they're bringing a lot of fresh ideas on how to draw more customers with them. Read More
Farm Marketing
October 13, 2016
What Next? What To Do After A Natural Di…
Between drought in the Northeast, forest fires in the West, and Hurricane Matthew in the Southeast, many growers and marketers are trying to figure out what their next steps should be. Read More
Farm Marketing
October 5, 2016
Consider Adding A Teal Pumpkin Display T…
You’ll want to get in on this big 2016 Halloween trend! If you sell pumpkins this fall, make sure you Read More
Farm Marketing
September 30, 2016
Insect Issues Making The News In Septemb…
A number of stories have hit the news this month, from trying to control spotted lantern fly in Pennsylvania to calling researchers relying on mud daubers to go where they can't in a search for an invasive spider. Read More
Farm Marketing
September 29, 2016
Kids Up For Adoption Get A Boost From He…
The Heartland Maze has gone the extra mile and created a maze design that promotes a cause. Together with a Read More
Farm Marketing
September 29, 2016
Coalition To Presidential Candidates: Re…
The coalition Plate Of The Union would like local farms to play a more central roll in U.S. food policy. Read More
Farm Marketing
September 25, 2016
New York Governor Signs Additional Legis…
Bills allow farm wineries, breweries, and cideries to sell New York-made farm beverages by the glass. Read More
Farm Marketing
September 15, 2016
8 Pumpkin Decorating Ideas Seen On Pinte…
Pinterest Inspired Pumpkins   Pinterest is where those in a decorating frame of mind go to get ideas. And if Read More
Farm Marketing
September 15, 2016
Show Off Your Corn Maze Design
Farm marketers have amazing imaginations, if their corn mazes are anything to judge by. Share your own design, and we'll include it in an upcoming slideshow. Read More
Farm Marketing
September 15, 2016
Is The Local Food Movement Over?
Writer Kristen Wile wrote a series of articles delving into the local food movement, and says the word "local" is overused, to the point that many chefs avoid using it. So American Farm Marketer asked her about her views on if local food and farms, and if she thinks that the farm-to-table movement is over. Read More
Farm Marketing
September 2, 2016
Farm Market Ideas Making The News
You hold events, hoping to attract large crowds to your farm market. Here are four promotional ideas that are going Read More
Farm Marketing
September 1, 2016
14 State Fair Snacks You Should Consider…
You're competing with dozens of other local fall festivals. You need to find a way to stand out. So why not take a page from fairs and add buzz-worthy food items to your offering? Read More
Farm Marketing
September 1, 2016
How Add-On Sales Helps Franjo Farms Stay…
In some cases, a higher profit margin line of products just might be the icing on the cake that keeps a farm business going. Read More
Farm Marketing
August 18, 2016
How Is American Farm Marketer Doing So F…
American Farm Marketer launched early this year, and we'd love to hear your thoughts about what we're doing right, and where we can use some improvement! Read More