WSFMA Award Press Release!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chewelah Farmers Market Selected Best in the State for the Second Year in a Row!

February 13, 2012; Chewelah, WA For the second year in a row, the Washington State Farmers Market Association has selected the Chewelah Farmers Market as the Best Small Market in the State. The award was presented to Chewelah Farmers Market President Nils Johnson during the Washington State Farmers Market Association Annual Conference, held February 3-5, 2012, in Leavenworth, WA. All of the nominees were judged by a committee representing WSFMA partners and stakeholders across Washington State. Other award winners include Best Large Farmers Market: Ballard; Best Medium Market: Port Angeles; Manager of the Year: Jennifer Wiecking – Wenatchee Valley; Farmer of the Year: Jason Silvo & Siri Erickson-Brown; Advocate of the Year: Chris Curtis; Lifetime Achievement Award: Terry & Dick Carkner.

The non-profit, all-volunteer run Chewelah Farmers Market is beginning its 5th season this year, and it looks like it will be another great one. In 2011 the market moved to its present location at the beautiful Chewelah City Park. Situated along Hwy. 395, the increased visibility directly resulted in increased sales for the up to 30 vendors that set up every Friday from mid-May through mid-October. In 2010, market vendors grossed a little over $50,000 and just one year later that gross jumped up to over $96,000. That is significant to the local economy of rural Chewelah, with a population of close to 2400.

The Board of Directors for the Chewelah Farmers Market anticipate an increased demand for vendor space this year, but have no plans to increase the size of market. They would like to preserve the atmosphere of a mini-festival every week, with entertainment, music, food and popular special events, such as the World-Class Cherry Splat and the Zucchini Regatta. The market has become a social destination for many on Friday, stocking up on fresh, local food and relaxing in the park.

The mission of the Chewelah Farmers Market is to make available high-quality, locally produced food, and to promote self-sufficiency in the community food systems by providing a venue for local farmers, growers and producers to connect directly with consumers, and to support educational opportunities for a sustainable community.

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