National Farmers' Market Week: Time to Shop While Helping Our Local Businesses and Community

Weekly Column from Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay
July 31, 2020

Businesses across New York state continue to deal with the fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak. Small businesses have been hit especially hard, and a prime example of this is the farming industry. According to the New York Farm Bureau, 43 percent of farmers and agricultural businesses reported a loss in sales, while 37 percent are experiencing financial shortfalls. National Farmers’ Market Week, August 2-8, is the perfect opportunity to show your support for hardworking farmers while helping our local economy and community.

Farming is hard work under normal circumstances, and during this pandemic it was made that much tougher. With schools, colleges and restaurants shut down, farmers have had to endure the loss of those markets. This doesn’t mean less work though; fields still need to be maintained and animals still need to be tended to. Rather than dump milk because of the surplus, many farmers worked with organizations to donate milk to those in need in communities across the state.

During National Farmers’ Market Week, farmers’ markets will be taking place across the state, with many happening locally. From fresh produce to hand-made local goods, these markets will have something for every member of the family. Give Back NY is also planning a state-wide food drive, connecting farmers with local emergency food programs and pantries. This is a way for farmers and vendors to show appreciation for their communities’ support during these uncertain times.

Here are a few recommendations for local farmers’ markets:

Please be mindful of social distancing and mask requirements, as they may vary from market to market. A complete list of farmers’ markets throughout New York state can be found here.