At farmers markets across Nebraska, consumers can find delicious fruits and vegetables, fresh herbs, sweet honey and much more. Thanks to a new website created by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA), useful information about most markets in the state and the producers that sell products at them can easily be found using the search tool.
“For the longest time we just had a database of about 600 produce growers, and we were spending a lot of time updating profile information each year. It just wasn’t user friendly,” says Casey Foster, ag promotion coordinator at NDA. “We wanted to create a site that is more reliable and allows consumers to find growers quicker and easier.”
The new site, ne.gov/go/neproduce, allows consumers to find farm-fresh products throughout Nebraska via a searchable database, allowing them to search by city, county or even for a particular vendor.
Foster says they modeled the site with a three-prong system in mind: one each for the consumer, grower and NDA.
NDA controls the technical issues of the site, while growers have access to their own listings. Consumers reap the benefits with an easy-to-use site that helps them learn more about the people who grow their food and where to find it.
“Consumers like to meet the people who grow the food they put on their table,” Foster says.
Also, farmers markets are becoming increasingly popular because consumers want to support family farmers, and farmers markets are great for that.
“Each market has its own character and chemistry, so it’s a good family atmosphere. Plus, people can find a lot of produce for little money. It’s fresh, affordable and nutritious,” Foster says.
At the end of 2015, Nebraska had 103 farmers markets statewide, a 257 percent increase since 2000. Consumers can visit markets throughout Nebraska and discover more than 80 types of fruits and vegetables.
To find more information about your local market and producers, visit ne.gov/go/neproduce.