U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has proclaimed Aug. 7-13, as National Farmers Market Week. Since 2000, when the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) first proclaimed National Farmers Market Week, the number of farmers markets has grown 150 percent, from 2,863 in 2000 to 7,175 in 2011. According to the USDA, the Payson Farmers Market is one of more than 7,000 in the country and more than 100 in Arizona.

“Farmers markets are good for your health, good for your community, and good for the economy,” said Stacy Miller, executive director of the Farmers Market Coalition, a nonprofit organization supporting farmers markets across the country.

The Payson Farmers Market began in 2009 with two farmers and 10 vendors. Currently it has four farmers, a backyard growers cooperative and more than 35 vendors selling a wide variety of products.