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State Celebrates "Pick Tennessee Products" 25th Year with State Street Farmers Market

July 04, 2011

The longstanding “Pick Tennessee Products” promotion conducted by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture will celebrate its 25th year with a statewide tour of farmers markets. The State Street Farmers Market of Bristol is one of about a dozen markets across the state selected to participate in the tour and will host an official tour stop on Wednesday, July 6, 2011. “Pick Tennessee Products has been connecting farmers to consumers since 1986,” says state Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson, who plans to attend the Bristol event, “and its message is even more relevant today than it was 25 years ago.” The state program began as a campaign to identify local food products in retail stores but has expanded with national trends to focus on farm-direct foods and local farmers markets.

“Governor Haslam has made clear he wants to help Tennessee’s rural economies, and we’re taking that message to heart,” says Johnson. “Choosing locally grown and made foods is one way everyone can join him in the effort, so the upcoming farmer’s markets events will focus on teaching shoppers how to choose and use the local foods they buy.”
Tammy Algood, spokesperson for the Pick Tennessee Products promotion and author of “The Complete Southern Cookbook,” plans to conduct a “25 Things to Remember at Your Farmers Market” session at each tour stop, sharing tips on choosing and storing fresh produce, and offering easy recipes for fresh produce. Copies of her new cookbook and baskets of farm-direct and artisan Tennessee foods will be given as prizes to lucky customers.

For more information about the tour, visit the www.PickTnProducts.org home page and click on the 25th anniversary logo. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture maintains the free Web site promoting 1,561 individual farmers and farm-direct businesses listing about 6,000 farm products. Visitors to www.PickTnProducts.org find statewide directories to farmers markets, seasonal farm product recipes, orchards and pick-your-own farms and retail stores where local products are sold. The site’s home page showcases seasonal farm products and activities from horseback riding and hayrides to Christmas tree farms and winery trails. Pick Tennessee Products also has about 10,000 Facebook followers.
“Choosing locally grown products is a great way for all of us to help each other,” says Johnson. “Farms and rural economies get help they need to stay strong, and we all benefit from foods that come fresh from a local farm business.”

For more information about the upcoming tour stop at The State Street Farmers Market of Bristol, contact Terry Napier at 423-764-4023 or email to tnapier@bristoltn.org or farmersmarket@bristoltn.org. Visit the market website at www.statestreetfarmersmarket.com.