WY farmers' markets have big economic impact; season starting soon

May 24, 2013
by WLJ

Farmers’ markets throughout Wyoming contributed more than $2.2 million to the state’s economy in 2012, according to data recently compiled by the Wyoming Business Council Agribusiness Division.

The information, collected by the Agribusiness Division and run through an economic impact model at the University of Wyoming College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, found that direct sales of approximately $1.7 million also generated secondary sales of more than $527,000 for a total annual economic contribution to the state’s economy of more than $2.2 million.

These results are based on responses collected by the Business Council from farmer’s markets operating in Wyoming.

“It’s exciting to see the economic impact of Wyoming’s farmers’ markets,” said Kim Porter, farmers’ market and education program manager at the Business Council. “People are very interested in where their food comes from and how it is grown and are taking advantage of the wonderful variety our farmers’ markets have to offer. There will be at least 46 markets around Wyoming and I really encourage people to support their local growers again this season.”

The study also found this economic activity supported the equivalent of nearly 20 annual jobs in the state’s economy with labor income totaling nearly $525,000. The average annual earnings per job are estimated to be over $25,000. The approximately 20 annual jobs generated by Wyoming’s farmers’ markets represent nearly 42,600 hours of employment with a wage rate of nearly $12.30 per hour.

The farmers’ market season runs roughly from June to October, with some winter markets available. To find a farmers’ market in Wyoming, visit wyoming business.org/program/ farmers-markets/1302. For questions regarding farmers’ markets in Wyoming and the farmers’ market program, contact Porter at 307/777-6319 or kim.porter @wyo.gov. — WLJ