The proclamation reads as follows:
WHEREAS, farmers' markets play a vital role in giving farms direct access to consumers; and
WHEREAS, farmers' markets provide the public with ready access to high quality fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, organic items, cheeses, baked goods, meats, homemade preserves and more that are fresh, traceable and competitively priced; and
WHEREAS, farmers' markets are an important component of a comprehensive local economic development strategy that fosters community engagement, supports local farmers, promotes health and wellness and provides access points for healthy food in neighborhoods; and
WHEREAS, the economic impacts of farmers' markets include direct benefits to farmers and business owners, but also indirect benefits to the community in stimulating downtown revitalization, enhancing parks and waterfronts and preserving farmland through economic viability; and
WHEREAS, the popularity of Virginia's farmers' markets continues to grow, from 88 markets in 2006 to 208 in 2012; and
WHEREAS, farmers' markets are good for the economy, good for consumers' health and good for the community;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert F. McDonnell, do hereby recognize August 5-11, 2012 as FARMERS' MARKET WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of our citizens.
What does that mean?
For starters, it means the Commonwealth recognizes the value and SUPPORTS farmers in the region. It also means that the Commonwealth realizes the important role that Farmers' Market play in getting local produce from the farms to the tables.
Lastly, this proclamation means that the Commonwealth has now set the precedent and standard for supporting Farmers' Markets, which local jurisdictions and local politicians can can do as well to emulate.
The Virginia Department of Consumer Affairs put forth a press release on July 27th, that summed up the value that Farmers' Markets play in local Economic Development nicely: "The continuing growth of Virginia farmers’ markets helps maintain agriculture as the Commonwealth’s number one industry with an economic impact of $55 billion annually and 357,000 jobs to its credit. The markets also help sustain Virginia’s working farms that provide green and open spaces and help preserve the high quality of life enjoyed by Virginians."
So, come on out and support your local Farmers' Market, the local Farmers, and Governor Bob McDonnell.
And, as always, pass the word to help people find us!
Thank you Governor Bob!