In recognition of the positive contributions of Massachusetts\u2019 farmers\u2019 markets to agriculture and public health, Governor Charlie Baker has proclaimed August 6-12, 2017 \u201cMassachusetts Farmers\u2019 Market Week.\u201d The weeklong event coincides with the 18th National Farmers\u2019 Market Week as the United States Department of Agriculture celebrates the nation\u2019s farmers\u2019 markets.\n\n\u201cThis week, and all season long, we are proud to celebrate Massachusetts many farmers\u2019 markets and support the continued viability of family farms, local food production and community camaraderie,\u201d said Governor Charles Baker. \u201cI encourage all Massachusetts residents to visit a farmers\u2019 market and purchase fresh Massachusetts-grown products to support your local farmers.\u201d\n\n\u201cAs we enter the Commonwealth\u2019s peak harvest season, this is an ideal time to recognize our local farmers\u2019 markets,\u201d said Lieutenant Governor Karen Polito. \u201cFarmers\u2019 markets are an important opportunity for Massachusetts residents to interact and support their local farmers.\u201d\n\nMassachusetts hosts approximately 240 summer and fall farmers\u2019 markets and another 40 winter farmers\u2019 markets across the Commonwealth. At nearly $48 million, Massachusetts ranks 5th in the nation for direct market sales and 3rd in the nation for direct market sales per operation. Direct market sales account for 10 percent of the state\u2019s total sales of agricultural products.\n\n\u201cFarmers\u2019 markets are an important direct market venue for growers and food producers across the Commonwealth and help to stimulate local economies,\u201d said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton. \u201cBy supporting farmers\u2019 markets, the Baker-Polito Administration hopes to continue to support family farms and increase access to fresh, health food to all Massachusetts residents.\u201d\n\nFarmers\u2019 markets provide access to fresh, healthy foods to all citizens of the Commonwealth. In recent years there has been an increase in the number of farmers\u2019 markets accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, with 164 farmers markets\u2019 now accepting SNAP benefits. The Healthy Incentives Program (HIP), launched in April, matches SNAP recipients\u2019 purchases of local fruits and vegetables at participating farmers\u2019 markets.\n\n\u201cFarmers\u2019 markets serve as a way for farmers to market their products and meet the growing consumer demand for locally produced food,\u201d said Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Commissioner John Lebeaux. \u201cThrough the \u2018Mass Grown and Fresher\u2019 interactive map available on our website, consumers are able to search for a wide range of agricultural products and activities in addition to farmers\u2019 markets to connect them with local growers and producers.\u201d\n\nIn celebration of Massachusetts Farmers\u2019 Market Week, Commissioner Lebeaux visited Beaver Brook Farmers Market in Worcester, Central Square Farmers Market at in Cambridge and South Boston Farmers\u2019 Market. Commissioner Lebeaux also presented a \u201cMassachusetts Farmers\u2019 Market Week\u201d proclamation from Governor Baker to the market managers to show appreciation for their dedication to farmers and increasing local food access in their cities.\n\n\u201cFarmers markets are a wonderful way for the Commonwealth to support our historic farms,\u201d said Senate Majority Leader Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester). \u201cMy district contains some wonderful farms and to see the fruit of their labor at the market is always makes my day. I am delighted that the Governor has proclaimed Massachusetts Farmers\u2019 Market Week.\u201d\n\n\u201cI am honored to represent a district with wonderful farmers markets, such as the Central Square Farmers Market in Cambridge and the Union Square Farmers Market in Somerville,\u201d said State Representative Mike Connolly (D-Cambridge). \u201cI am also proud to support the Farmers Market Coupon Program because it helps working families eat healthy while supporting local farms. It is my hope we continue to address food insecurity by supporting these programs in Cambridge and Somerville, and across the Commonwealth.\u201d\n\nMDAR compiles an annual list of Massachusetts farmers\u2019 markets, listing days, locations, times, and opening and closing dates for each market. An interactive map of farmers\u2019 markets statewide is available here.