There are now more than 6,132 farmers markets nationwide, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recently updated National Farmers Market Directory. The number of markets reported this year, represents a 16 percent increase over the number of markets tallied up in 2009. These figures are based on voluntary reports from farmers market managers, and were collected electronically for the first time this year. Other finding derived from the report reveal that California has more farmers markets than any other state, with a reported 580 markets. It’s followed by New York, which has 461, and Illinois with 286.
Massachusetts ranks number six on the list of the top ten states, with 227 markets and Pennsylvania comes in at nine on the list with 203. Midwest states like Ohio, Indiana and Michigan experienced the largest percentage growth, with some states seeing increases of new markets exceeding 60 and 70 percent. [USDA]