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While some people are speculating that the occupation of “farmer” may be non-existent in twenty years or so, green jobs with the organic farm movement are only growing. The number of farmers markets in the country has risen by 9.6 percent in the past year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The biggest growth regions were the mid-Atlantic with a 15.8% increase, the Northeast with a 14.4% increase, and the Southeast with a 13.1% increase. Green jobs at farmers markets are popping up all over, but the most opportunities remain in California, which has an astounding 827 markets. New York comes in second with 647, and Massachusetts is third with 313.
The number of green jobs with organic farms, and at farmers markets, are growing thanks to increasing consumer demand for local, organic produce. The more educated consumers become about their food, the more they are voting with their dollars for produce grown locally. Food at farmers markets doesn’t need to be transported over long distances with fossil-fueled vehicles. Consumers also like the freshness and variety of the foods they find at farmers markets, such as at Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco.
Ferry Plaza has been taking place for 20 years. In its early days, it was one of three farmers markets in San Francisco. Today, the city has over 29.
While farmers markets are making green jobs more available all over the country, the USDA is working to make the organic produce more available to people with low income levels. The USDA is helping markets to accept the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program payments (which were formerly called food stamps).
There are 7,864 farmers markets currently registered with the USDA.
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