Small farmers and farmers markets in Tarrant County have seen a surge in demand from people seeking alternative egg options. Farmers markets do more than just sell vegetables, eggs, and meat from grass-fed animals. They provide a central shopping and meeting place for communities, drive customers to nearby businesses, and most importantly, they support local and small farms. The commercial structures of farmers markets range from private for-profit companies and private social enterprises to markets managed by municipal or county governments.
Last summer, the Farmers Assisting Returning Military organization was looking for a new home in North Texas when executive director Hyiat El-Jundi met with the leaders of the Funkytown Food Project at the Cowtown Farmer's Market. The markets are part of the TAFB Farmers Market Nutrition Program and will run until September. The Tarrant Area Food Bank has partnered with Cowtown Farmers Market and GROW North Texas to bring fresh, locally grown produce to Fort Worth. According to the Farmers Market Coalition, a national advocacy group, more than 85 percent of market vendors travel less than 50 miles to reach their farmers market and more than half travel less than 10 miles. The group also sells its products at local farmers markets and donates a portion to organizations such as the Tarrant Area Food Bank. As for the future of farmers markets, McDonald believes that demand for fresh produce will continue to grow and that supporting that growth means supporting farmers and ranchers in Texas.
McDonald adds that one of the advantages of farmers' markets is their ability to be agile in times of crisis. Regardless of the organizational structure, the approximately 150 Texas farmers markets and the number of shoppers they attract are starting to add up for local communities. Farmers markets are open to the public and community members can use WIC, FMNP, and Lone Star card coupons to purchase eligible items, as well as standard payment methods. If communities always bought local produce, farmers and ranchers would always have enough for demand, said Knutsun, owner of Hollow Trace Market Farm. Respondents, comprised of NYFC members under 40, said that farmers' markets accounted for the second highest proportion of their agricultural sales (18 percent), and the highest proportion (19 percent) was due to direct sales to customers who paid in advance for products.
The survey noted that farmers' markets offer an important avenue to support agricultural occupations, especially for younger farmers who may already face obstacles related to land accessibility, student loan debt, health insurance, and finding qualified labor. McDonald says that Texas Farmers Market has an average of 3,000 shoppers in Cedar Park and 4,000 in Austin per market day. The idea was born out of DeHart's frustration over political divisions in Tarrant County which he describes as “everyone shouts at everyone and no one listens”.The impact of government policy on the farmer's market movement in Tarrant County is significant. Government policies can have a direct effect on how successful these markets are by providing incentives or subsidies for local producers or by creating regulations that make it easier or harder for them to operate. For example, some states have implemented tax credits or other incentives for small farms that sell their products at farmers' markets.
This helps ensure that these small businesses can remain competitive with larger corporate farms. In addition to providing incentives for small farms, government policies can also help create an environment where these markets can thrive. For example, some states have implemented zoning laws that make it easier for farmers' markets to operate in certain areas or have created regulations that make it easier for them to obtain permits or licenses. These policies can help create an environment where these markets can be successful. Finally, government policies can also help create an environment where these markets can be successful by providing funding or other resources for marketing or promotion. This can help ensure that these markets are able to reach potential customers and increase their visibility in the community. Overall, government policy has a major impact on the success of farmer's markets in Tarrant County.
By providing incentives or subsidies for small farms or creating regulations that make it easier for them to operate, government policies can help ensure that these markets remain competitive with larger corporate farms. In addition, government policies can also help create an environment where these markets can thrive by providing funding or other resources for marketing or promotion.