Cape Gazette
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Local farmers markets rank in top 20 in national contest

Sep 14, 2010
Two of Delaware’s 14 farmers markets have been ranked in the top 20 for a second year in the America’s Favorite Farmers Market Contest sponsored by the American Farmland Trust.

“Congratulations to the Historic Lewes Farmers Market and the Rehoboth Beach Farmers Market for once again placing in the top 20 of all farmers markets in the national contest,” said Delaware Agriculture Secretary Ed Kee.

“It is a great reflection on each market’s management team and staff, the growers and on Delaware agriculture. All of us at the Department of Agriculture are proud of their achievement, and we support all of Delaware’s farmers markets.”

Lewes placed second in the medium-sized market category and Rehoboth placed 11th in the same category.

Lewes received 2,387 votes and Rehoboth received 629 votes. Last year, Lewes placed fourth and Rehoboth placed 20th.

See complete results at action.farmland.org.

“We at the Historic Lewes Farmers Market are thrilled that we achieved second place in the national America’s Favorite Farmers Market Contest,” said Historic Lewis Farmers Market President Helaine Harris.

“It demonstrates a firm commitment from people in Delaware to support a market where they are able to purchase fresh, local produce and to support the growth of sustainable agriculture in this state.”

“The Rehoboth Beach Farmers Market is extremely pleased to have been voted one of the top 20 markets in the U.S.,” said Rehoboth Market Manager Pat Coluzzi.

“For the past four years, we have had wonderful support from the locals, and it has been extremely gratifying to hear from many tourists from all over the country tell us that we have the best market they have ever attended. We think that is pretty darn good for a Tuesday market.”

Voters had several weeks, starting in June, to vote for their favorite market in one of three categories: small, medium and large. Markets were categorized by the number of participating vendors.

A small market has 30 vendors or less; medium markets have 31 to 55 vendors and large markets have more than 55 vendors.

More than 800 markets signed up to participate in the contest. More than 1,200 farmers markets across the country enrolled in this year’s contest and more than 50,000 people cast their votes in the contest.

American Farmland Trust, based in Washington, D.C., is a 30-year-old organization that seeks to preserve farm and ranch land from development and promote environmentally sound farming practices.

The trust sponsored the contest to call attention to the importance of farmers who are responsible for producing fresh, healthy and local food.

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