American Farmland Trust released state-by-state vote counts revealing the five markets in each state that are leading the America's Favorite Farmers Markets™ competition. The standings update each time you visit and are available at www.farmland.org/vote.
Farmers markets in 49 states and the District of Columbia are competing in the third annual contest for America's Favorite Farmers Markets that began June 1 and runs throughout the summer. On August 31, four winning markets — one large, one medium, one small, and one boutique — will receive the title of America's Favorite Farmers Market for 2011. For the first time this year, the market in each state with the most votes will also receive a prize.
"This is one of the most exciting moments in the contest," says American Farmland Trust President Jon Scholl. "It's fun to find out which markets are leading in each state. However, as we've seen in previous years, anything can happen between now and August 31 when the online voting closes."
According to contest rules, farmers market customers can vote for as many participating farmers markets as they choose, but they can only vote for each market once.
The America's Favorite Farmers Markets contest is designed to promote the value of farmers markets in communities, and to help shoppers make the connection between fresh local foods and the local farms and farmland that supply them.
"There would be no local food without local farms and farmland," Scholl added. "People can make a real difference in the economic health of their communities by shopping at farmers markets, participating in CSAs and buying direct from the farm."
Throughout the contest, American Farmland Trust provides participating markets with tools that help them get out the vote through a variety of mediums such as blogs, widgets and e-mail.