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For Immediate Release
Saturday, June 30, 2012


Dustin Vande Hoef
Communications Director
515/281-3375 or 515/326-1616 (cell)
or Dustin.VandeHoef@IowaAgriculture.gov
 
 

Audio from Secretary Northey discussing the Iowa Farmers Market app Click Here

NORTHEY: NEW FARMERS MARKET APP WILL HELP IOWANS FIND FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today unveiled the free Iowa Farmers Market app for smartphones that is designed to help Iowans access the more that 230 farmers markets serving Iowans across the state.

The app is available for both iPhones and Android phones and allows users to find the farmers market closest to them by using GPS location services or to search for specific farmers markets by city or zip code.  Once they have located a market, the user can view the hours of the market, browse a list of vendors and see a phone number and email address of the market manager.  App users can also leave reviews of the market and vendors and upload their photos to share with others.

“This app will make farmers markets easier to find and give visitors useful information as they plan their trip,” Northey said.  “We are entering prime market season when sweet corn and many other fruits and vegetables will be available, so I hope Iowans take advantage and enjoy this fresh produce and use this app to help them locate a market.”

The app is free to download and is available through Apple’s App store and Google Play by searching “Iowa Farmers Markets.”  The app for android phones can also be found at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.utc.titaniumapns2, and the link for Apple devices is http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ia-farmer-mkts/id501591188?ls=1&mt=8.

The app was developed for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship using funds from the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.  Grant funds are targeted for projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops that benefit the entire specialty crop industry.

“Iowa has seen tremendous growth in the number and size of farmers markets and as a result we are seeing more farmers interested in raising fruits and vegetables and marketing them locally at a farmers market,” Northey said.  “Many customers are using new technology to connect with farmers and learn more about food and we hope this app helps them do that.”

Farmers markets continue to grow in popularity as Iowans seek fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables.  An Iowa farmers market survey completed for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship showed that market sales have increased an average of 18 percent per year from 2004 to 2009.  It also showed that Iowa markets had $38.4 million in direct sales in 2009 and a $71 million impact on Iowa’s economy.

 

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