Between 2008 and 2013, the number of markets in the state Nike Sneakers High Ankle registered with the USDA grew from 205 to 336.
That growth has stoked competition for farmers, Stieren said; with more markets comes more demand for farmers. Also, organic farms are selling more of their products to restaurants and schools than they used to, leaving markets with a smaller share, she said.
USDA spokesman Jim Brownlee couldn't specify a reason for the drop, and noted that its registry might not include every farmers market. But the agency reaches out to farmers markets to join the registry, and they're usually eager to do so because of the exposure it brings, he said.
Last year, Qae Dah Muhammad started a farmers market in South Shore Nike Pink And Black Sneakers
To fix the problem, the Illinois Farmers Market Association is trying to get more markets to accept the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, in the hopes that it will bring more income to farmers. Stieren is also optimistic about a bill passed in June in the Illinois General Assembly that standardizes regulation of farmers markets across the state; going through the inspection process in each county has been a hindrance for farmers, she said.
Not all farmers markets have trouble finding vendors. With 10,000 shoppers a week, the Green City Market in Lincoln Park is in such high demand that it turns down dozens of vendors a year, Associate Director Mark Psilos said. It has a committee of restauranteurs and farmers who whittle down the 90 to 100 applications it receives to about 65.
The market raises money for charity, so it can't relinquish the income that comes from booth fees. To make up for the lack of bait, Hummel went on an intense hunt for produce vendors, calling about 30 or 40 farms as far away as Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan. Finally, she found two vendors willing to come and she was thrilled to get them.
produce that will be sold directly to consumers, said Lindsay Record, program director at the Illinois Stewardship Alliance. An increasing number of farmers are beginning to grow produce that could be sold in farmers markets, but it hasn't met up with demand, she said.
Over a longer time span, the number of farmers markets has swelled in Illinois. Nike Shoes Sportswear
With farmers in high demand, market managers are approaching them increasingly often, offering incentives such as free parking, a waiver of booth fees, help from volunteers or promises to limit competition, farmers said.
"People are showing up at the market with shopping carts and shopping bags," she said. "They're hoping to load up with fresh vegetables and fruit, but it's just not there."
"Part of the challenge is there not being enough people willing to do that; it takes a lot of hard work," Record said.
in an effort to get neighborhood children eating healthy foods, rather than the chips and nachos she saw them munching on.
Most farms in Illinois also grow corn and soybeans, rather than Nike Sneaker Wedges
"They bend over backwards for us," said Steve Lecklider of Lehman's Orchard in Niles, Mich., which sells its wares in several Chicago farmers markets. "But we can only stretch ourselves so thin."
With a lot of hard work, she created the South Shore Farmers Market, open Sundays at the corner of 79th Street and South Shore Drive. But there's a problem: She can't get enough vendors to come. Only four vendors have joined the market, with two or three coming on the average Sunday.
When it comes to attracting a farmer, the most important things are how much competition there will be at a market and how many people will come, farmers said. Steve Freeman, of Nichols Farm Orchard in Marengo, Ill., said the farm looks for markets in affluent neighborhoods where residents can afford goods that are more expensive than those grown on larger farms. Department of Agriculture is expected to report that the number of registered farmers markets continued their upward climb, increasing 1.5 percent nationwide in 2014. The report shows 309 registered markets in Illinois, compared with 336 in 2013, an 8 percent drop. That's the biggest percentage decline of any state.
"We're well established, we have a really great reputation as a solid market with very high standards as to who we allow in and who our vendors are," Psilos said.
For Jan Hummel, though, it was a challenge to find vendors for the farmers market at St. John's Episcopal Church in Naperville, which she helped create last year.
"We're not the largest market, certainly, that they go to, but we take good care of them," Hummel said. "They probably don't make as much money from us as they would from other markets, but they say we're the nicest."
Area's farmers markets struggle for farmers
"That's the biggest issue I've gotten: We need farmers," said Pat Stieren, executive director of the Illinois Farmers Market Association.
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