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SPECIAL REPORT

LOCAL FOOD, LOCAL MONEY: FARMERS MARKETS ON THE RISE

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ooking beyond the grocery store? You’re not alone! It's a movement that is quietly making its way in to cities and towns across the country.

Farmers' markets represent an important retail option that can bolster local economies in communities large and small. Driving the niche is the growing demand for fresh, local food. Successful farmers' markets can strengthen local and regional economies and grow jobs.

According to the nationwide industry group Farmers Market Coalition, for every $100 spent at a farmers' market, $62 stays in the local economy, and $99 stays in-state. Additionally, the coalition says that growers selling locally create 13 full-time jobs per $1 million

If it grows in the ground, you might just find it at the Medford Farmers Market, or at markets held in Owatonna and Blooming Prairie. (Southern Minn Media photo)

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in revenue. Those that do not sell locally create three jobs per $1 million, they say. And research also shows that farmers' markets spur spending at neighboring businesses and help increase activity in downtown areas. That is part of what prompted Steele County's newest Farmers' Market in Medford. Held in the middle of downtown, Medford's market can be found each Thursday, June through October, at Christ the King Church on 2nd Avenue. "We have excellent visibility in town as we are just off Main Street and there is plenty of nearby parking for customers," said Jennifer Kath, one of the organizers and a registered dietitian. "Right now, we are a small market

Forge October 2017  
Forge October 2017  
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