Friday, September 19, 2008

Local Farmers’ Markets Boost Local Economies…

It may not seem like much… $2 for some tomatoes, but the revenue generated at farmers markets can really add up.

My wife is one of these shoppers. She looks for quality and price and finds both in this market.

Back in early August I attended the Buy Fresh, Buy Local meeting at the Swiftel Center. Pat Garrity of Yankton led the meeting. Pat proposes we build the ‘local market’ to 10%, which seems both easy to obtain, and beneficial as far as results go.

His 10% idea is to build a local famers’ market that could generate in revenue a mere 10% of the food bought in the area in one year.

Example: If we have 30,000 people, and they consume $200 worth of food per month, that equates to $72 million dollars a year. Ten percent of $72 million is $7.2 million… This is money that stays in the local economy. Now break down ten percent to what one buys personally. If one spends $100 every two weeks on groceries, that means he/she spends $10 at the local farmers market… or $5 a week.

This is a beneficial way to help the local economy, benefit local schools, encourage people to eat a little healthier, and also cut down on global energy usage needed to ship goods across the world. Local grocery stores can buy locally and distribute as well. This is a great strategy to help build our regional economies all over South Dakota.

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