July 23, 2012

Dept. of Agriculture Names 2012 Farmers' Market Champions

Harvest on Wheels volunteers from Springfield, Mo. recognized with joint award

The Missouri Department of Agriculture recently announced the Greater Springfield Farmers' Market's Harvest on Wheels program as 2012 Champions of the Year for their work to promote gardening, locally-grown foods and farmers' markets. The Harvest on Wheels volunteers were recognized at the Greater Springfield Farmers' Market during the annual Corn Feed event.

"We are proud of the great contributions this group has made toward connecting those in need within their community to fresh fruits and vegetables through vendors at their local farmers' market," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. "The Harvest on Wheels team's commitment to sharing the bounty of local produce with others is inspiring and their recognition as 2012 Champions of the Year is well deserved."

The Champion of the Year award, sponsored by AgriMissouri and the Missouri Farmers' Market Association, recognizes the contributions individuals make to Missouri's farmers' markets, to their communities, to Missouri farmers and the efforts of those individuals to share their passion with others.

Harvest on Wheels is non-profit organization whose mission is to foster the growth of local markets and serve the underserved of Springfield and the surrounding areas as a food distribution link.

Harvest on Wheels team members volunteer at the farmers' market, coordinate promotions and assist vendors with set-up and operations when the farmers' market is open. In return, vendors and customers donate to Harvest on Wheels, which then provides the produce to food banks and pantries in Springfield and throughout Greene County.

Harvest on Wheels has collected more than 130,000 pounds of food from vendors at the Greater Springfield Farmers' Market since 2009. The group collected and donated more than the 40,000 pound goal they set for all of 2012 in June, and recently collected more than 13,000 pounds of food in only 11 days.

The Greater Springfield Farmers' Market is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays beginning at 8 a.m. throughout the summer. The market is located at the intersection of Battlefield Road and Glenstone Ave. in Springfield. The market is managed by Brad Gray.

For more information about AgriMissouri, visit http://www.AgriMissouri.com.