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America’s Favorite Farmers Market contest enters final month

Rockford Farm Market still leads entire nation

Farm Market vendor table laden with the very first of the season Michigan apples and peaches.

By Cliff and Nancy Hill

Let’s color this as an athletic event. We are about to enter the 10th week of a 13-week contest—the America’s Favorite Farmers Market contest. One might say we are entering the 9th inning of a ballgame.

The Rockford farm market is holding the lead, however slim, and it’s time to bring in the “closers” to protect our lead. Our opponent is tenacious (Venice, FL) and has been dogging us in the vote tallies for the past five weeks.  Time to put the Venice Farmers Market away and raise our hands in victory on August 31!

Now just who are these “closers”?  It turns out that they are the ones who have, as yet, not voted and have been holding themselves in reserve for this very moment in time.  It’s their time to step to the plate and hit one out of the ballpark.  It’s time for Cedar Springs Post readers, many of whom love and attend the Rockford Farm Market, to be designated hitters in this prestigious nationwide election.

Are you a “closer”? Then go online (www.farmland.org/vote) to cast your vote for Rockford’s Farm Market or visit Saturday morning’s farm market in downtown Rockford and cast your vote in person at the voting booth in front of the Lion’s Market Master stall.

Thanks to those of you who have already voted. You can also be a “closer” by using all of your social networking skills to spread the word and encourage the vote. Vote totals as of 11 p.m. Monday, August 1, 2011 for top 5 in all market size categories:

·      Rockford Farm Market (sm. mkt.) – 1886
·      Venice, FL (sm. mkt.) – 1697
·      Snellville, GA (med. mkt.) – 1550
·      Fayetteville, AR (lg. mkt.) – 1252
·      New Braunfels, TX (lg. mkt) – 1133
·      Las Cruces, NM (lg. mkt.) – 1014

If you have been following this contest online, you may have noticed that Michigan has another player in this contest. The Manistique Farm Market is no threat to Rockford’s standings but nevertheless is leading the nation in the boutique market size category with 271 votes.

Imagine the possibility of Michigan, the doormat of the nation for the last 10 years, having two small city farm markets being declared America’s Favorite Farmers Markets in their market size categories with Rockford’s Farm Market #1 overall in the entire United States.

It’s not that improbable a scenario when you consider the fact that Michigan is the 2nd most agriculturally diverse state in the nation and nowhere is that locally grown and freshly harvest bounty more apparent than every Saturday morning at Rockford’s “Pure Michigan” Farm Market.

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