As a member of the House Committee on Agriculture and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight and Nutrition, I have been consistently engaged in efforts to promote healthier eating habits and better nutrition for Americans. Since this is National Farmers Market Week, it is a good time to highlight the growth in urban agriculture that is occurring in communities across the country. This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported a 76 percent increase in the number of farmers markets in the United States, up from 4,685 in 2008 to 8,286 in 2014. Ohio is a leader, ranking fourth in the number of farmers markets with 311, behind California (764), New York (638) and Michigan (339).
The growth in the number of farmers markets reflects the growth in the number of small farming systems that are sprouting in many urban settings. With 17,000 vacant lots covering 33,000 acres of land in Cleveland alone, there are plenty of opportunities in the district I represent to create urban fa...
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