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Minnesota Ag News Headlines
Local Farmers Markets Strengthen Ag Economy
Minnesota Ag Connection - 06/14/2018

The Virginia, Hibbing, Cook and Tower Farmers Markets open this month. Area farmers and artisans will sell locally grown fruits, vegetables, eggs, meats, canned goods and wild rice, along with homemade roasted nuts, coffee, baked goods, bug repellent, crafts and soaps.

According to Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability (IRPS), farmers' markets enhance the quality of life in our communities by strengthening agricultural economic development, fostering social gathering, and providing access to fresh locally grown foods.

"Farmers markets create an affordable way for local growers to generate product sales and revenue," said Marlise Riffel, Virginia Market manager. "The markets enable small farms to stay in business and sustain jobs without incurring high costs that go along with distribution through a middleman."

To increase fresh food access, several of the markets accept EBT cards, which is part of a nutrition assistance program for limited-resource families. In addition, the Power of Produce (PoP) incentive program will be offered this year at some of the markets. All Iron Range children ages 4 to 12 can receive a $2 token to spend each week on fresh fruits and vegetables.

Market dates and hours are:

- Virginia: Thursdays, 1-5 p.m. began June 7

- Tower: Fridays, 4-6 p.m. beginning June 15

- Cook: Saturdays, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. beginning June 16

- Hibbing: Tuesdays, 2-5 p.m. and Fridays/Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. beginning June 19

The four markets are collaborating their social media reach and advertising this summer in order to attract more local and tourism-based customers. The collaboration is being facilitated through IRPS and was supported with a Culture and Tourism grant from Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation. Email Danae Beaudette for details or call her at 218-735-3022.

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