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National Farmers Market Week to be celebrated today in Dawsonville
Free tomato sandwiches at Amicalola Regional Farmers Market mark occasion
farmers market pic 3
Gary Johnson, who has been farming for 15 years, was selling various herbs, tomato plants, peppers and eggs at the first farmers market of 2018. - photo by Jessica Taylor

Free tomato sandwiches at the Amicalola Regional Farmers Market today will celebrate National Farmers Market Week, which the United States Department of Agriculture declares annually to honor the benefits of local farmers markets. 

The USDA declared Aug. 5-11, 2018 as National Farmers Market Week for the 19th year in a row. 

A release from Sonny Perdue, secretary of agriculture, states that farmers markets and other agricultural direct marketing outlets contribute approximately $9 billion each year to the U.S. economy, provide Americans access to healthy foods, sustain family farms and rural communities as well as stimulate job creation.

According to statistics from the Farmers Market Coalition, the United States loses an acre of farmland a minute to development. But locally-owned retailers such as farmers markets "return more than three times as much of their sales to the local economy compared to chain competitors" and growers selling locally create 13 full time jobs per $1 million in revenue earned, while those not selling locally create three. 

The Amicalola Regional Farmers Market is a resurgence of efforts in Dawson County to bring fresh produce and handmade products to the community. Now in its second year, the market is set up from 3:30 to 7 p.m. each Friday at Veterans Memorial Park. 

Louise McPherson, soil conservationist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, invites everyone to come out for a tomato sandwich today at the market (with your choice of white or wheat bread and various brands of mayonnaise) in honor of National Farmers Market Week.

The market is also always looking for vendors. Call the market manager at (706) 265-2442 or email for more information.