The Impact of Public Health Policy on the Farmer's Market Movement in Tarrant County

The bird flu outbreak that caused the death of millions of poultry had a major effect on Tarrant County, Texas. The fifth largest city in the state and the 16th largest city in the U. S. was in need of cheap eggs after prices skyrocketed.

Fort Worth, a bustling metropolis in Tarrant County, is home to around 2 million people living within a 902 square mile radius. In order to provide access to fresh local produce and healthy food, as well as to support healthy food policy initiatives, Tarrant County and Fort Worth decided to join forces and tackle these issues. This collaboration has been focused on improving health and well-being, as well as addressing health disparities in communities in Tarrant County. The City Council voted to pass a text that amended the city's zoning ordinance to allow urban farms, aquaponics within a covered structure, and the sale of cultivated products in all zoning districts of the city. This was a major step forward for small farmers and farmers markets in Tarrant County, who have seen an increase in demand from people looking for alternative egg options. Staff from the Fort Worth Planning and Zoning Department started the policy development process by working closely with the Tarrant County Food Policy Council and Blue Zones staff to research how other communities were addressing food deserts across the United Kingdom. The goal, according to Aftandilian, is “to make it possible for more people to grow healthy food in their communities and, ideally, to earn some extra money by selling those products directly in their community”.If communities always bought local produce, farmers and ranchers would always have enough for demand, said Knutsun, owner of Hollow Trace Market Farm.

The joint effort of this process has been essential in helping Fort Worth and Tarrant County address food deserts in their communities.

Paulette Gruver
Paulette Gruver

Passionate beeraholic. Infuriatingly humble internet ninja. Evil internet lover. Evil coffee fan. Typical tv buff.