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USDA Farmers Market Opens for 2014 Season

Release No.: 147 -14

Peter Wood, (202) 720-6179

WASHINGTON, June 6, 2014 – This morning, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Administrator Anne Alonzo and Assistant Secretary for Administration Dr. Gregory L. Parham will ring the bell to officially open the USDA Farmers Market for its 19th season on the National Mall.

USDA is honoring American military service members and veterans today, including USDA employees that served in the armed forces, with a barbeque battle featuring military chefs from four branches of service (Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps). The USDA Farmers Market, one of the country’s 8,100 operating farmers markets, supports the region’s local producers and is part of USDA’s commitment to local food systems and expanding healthy food access. In further support of this commitment, AMS today announced a partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense Healthy Base Initiative to successfully establish and operate more farmers markets on military installations.

"Across the country, farmers markets play a critical role in connecting customers directly with the people that grow our food," said Alonzo. "This partnership is really a win-win – a chance to simultaneously support our men and women in uniform and the local and regional food systems that are creating jobs and economic growth in communities around the country.”

USDA invites area residents, visitors, and professionals to participate in the exciting opening day activities, including:
- Military Chef Barbeque Battle emceed by Toby Knapp, DJ, Hot 99.5 Radio
- Burpee & Company giveaway “Welcome Home Garden” seed packets, a project initiated by Burpee CEO George Ball
- Music by “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band
- Gardening activities and more!

The USDA Farmers Market runs through November and will feature a wide variety of vendors from the region selling fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, baked goods, kettle popcorn, local honey products, hand-made soap, and much more. The USDA Farmers Market is held every Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot at 12th Street and Independence Ave., S.W. (across the street from the Smithsonian Metro stop). All farmers accept cash and some accept credit cards, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program cards; Women, Infants and Children coupons; and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program coupons.

The USDA Farmers Market is run by AMS and is part of the department's commitment to support local and regional food systems. Coordinated through the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative, this work includes resources from across USDA, including the online food hub portal and the National Farmers Market Directory. These and many other resources can be found in the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass.


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USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).


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  Last Modified Date: 06/06/2014