|Aug 13, 2014 --
“We are just a few hard working people that love bringing country to town. Our Farmer's Market customers love what we do with our hands. Picking eggs, milking goats, working in our kitchens or just playing in the dirt, we bring our customers the best, freshest products and produce,” states Terry Lehmkuhl of SpringerRidge Barnyard Products. Terry and her husband Ernie are the organizers of the Country Farmer’s Market held in Pierre, South Dakota.
This last Saturday, the Farmer’s Market family celebrated "National Farmers Market Week” (August 3 through 9, 2014) that was recently declared by USDA Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The Country Farmer's Market offers a large variety of fresh produce, baked goods, free range eggs, Icelandic yarn, coffees, honey, and canned goods. “We offer just about anything you would want a Farmer's Market. Our customers are always in awe of the large variety we offer”, declares Terry.
New to the market was “The Gathering Place" in honor of the National celebration which offered a sitting area and booth to sit and chat and have special guests, demonstrations and kids’ activities. South Dakota USDA Rural Development staff attended and highlighted the upcoming annual local food conference to be held in November.
Farmer’s Markets make an impact in the state. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture did a study and it showed that farmers market vendors sold over $1.3 million worth of products in South Dakota during 2013. Farmers markets had an average of 7.5 vendors and 96.2 customers per market. The average sales per market for that time period were $1125.67.
South Dakota has at least 61 farmers markets in the state. Using the midseason average sales, this equates to $73,210 in spending at all farmers markets each week.
It is people like Ernie and Terry, two hard working "country folks” that provide fresh produce, canned goods, baked goods and make an economic impact holding up the motto ‘Always Home Grown and Homemade in South Dakota’.