Growing number of farmers markets presents issues for farmers - WSMV Channel 4

Growing number of farmers markets presents issues for farmers

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Farmers say there's a market somewhere in Tennessee every day of the week. (WSMV) Farmers say there's a market somewhere in Tennessee every day of the week. (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Shoppers in the market for fresh off the farm meats and produce don't have to look far.

Nearly every day there's a farmer's market in Middle Tennessee. But that saturation is causing some issues for farmers.

Amy Tavalin comes from a family of farmers who specialize in produce and meats. She's also the director of the Franklin Farmers Market.

“You've got your money in harvesting the crops, your money in gas getting there, each market you have to pay a fee to be there. It stretches the farmer thin,” she explained. “Now there's literally a market every day of the week. In a good way, it stretches your customer base. If they miss the Saturday market, they can go to a market on Monday.”

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture said some farmers have responded by changing the way they market their produce. The department offers resources to help farmers for different marketing options.

Ann Lee is a livestock farmer in Middle Tennessee. She knows there are a lot of options when it comes to farmers markets, and that it can provide challenges.

“Personally, I think it's good. The more (markets) you have, the more people you get exposed to, the more people can come and buy food that's good for them,” Lee said.

She said farmers need to research before picking a market to set up shop.

“Which ones are the best ones for what you have to sell," she said.

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