Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
KMSU is off the air in Mt. Grove (88.7FM) due to signal interference. We are working to restore coverage at the site. In the meantime, some Mt. Grove area listeners will be able to listen over the air to KSMU at 91.1 or KSMW at 90.3FM. Or stream KSMU anywhere from any device.

Farmers Markets in Missouri Do Well in 2008

Farmers markets across the state had a good year. KSMU’s Michele Skalicky talked with the president of the Greater Springfield Farmer’s Market to see how that organization fared this year.

According to the MO Dept. of Agriculture, profits at farmers markets in the state rose nearly 20% in 2008. Donald Bauer, president of the Greater Springfield Farmers Market, says, for a very fickle year, vendors did well.

"Spring was so wet. People couldn't plant on time, and the fuel combined with the fuel cost and problem kept people from traveling including our vendors. It still turned out to be a good year, a decent year."

He says several vendors told him they sold more than ever before. 109 vendors—the most the market has had—sold produce, plants, meats, baked goods and crafts at this year’s market. Bauer says they usually have between 90 and 100 vendors.According to Bauer, there wasn’t necessarily an increase in customers, but the demographics changed somewhat.

"More younger people. I don't know that we saw increased traffic, per se, but a different, a more diverse demographic, and that was encouraging."

Bauer says people are more interested now in having a connection with the grower and knowing where their food comes from.According to the MO Department of Agriculture, 17 new farmers markets registered in the state this year. Bauer says that’s encouraging.

"The more markets there are, the better everyone does. If a person visits one, they'll look for a bigger one, so everyone benefits from that. Competition is not an issue,really--it shouldn't be."

If Bauer could have one Christmas wish granted, it would be to have an indoor space for the market to operate out of—currently they set up on the Battlefield Mall parking lot. That’s in the works, but it likely won’t happen for some time.The Greater Ozarks Farmers Market closed for the season Saturday. They’ll re-open in the spring. For KSMU News, I'm Michele Skalicky.