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OC farmers market wins statewide poll

The Oregon City Farmers Market is the straw-poll favorite in Oregon, according to the fourth-annual American Farmland Trust survey conducted June 22 through Sept. 3.

Out of 47,275 votes cast overall in the summer-long nationwide contest, OC's market got nearly twice as many votes as any of its in-state competitors. Hillsdale at 20 votes and Springfield at 55 votes were runners-up to OC's 106 votes, followed by Portland State University with 14 and Corvallis with 13.

“Jackie Hammond Williams and the board of the Oregon City Farmers Market put together a first-class farmers market,” said Lloyd Purdy, director of the nonprofit Main Street Oregon City. “In fact, they produce three outstanding markets."

Three years ago, the Oregon City Farmers Market, which runs a Saturday market in the summer at Clackamas County's hilltop headquarters, was one of the first markets in the Portland area to run year-round. Its winter and Wednesday market are both on Eighth Street in downtown Oregon City.

American Farmland Trust designed the America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest to promote the economic and social value of farmers markets, and to bring attention to the need for farmland to grow fresh, local food.

“The America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest is about celebrating the unique qualities of farmers markets throughout the nation and the important role that these markets play in keeping family farmers on the land,” said American Farmland Trust President Jon Scholl.

The number of markets listed in the USDA's National Farmers Market Directory has increased by 9.6 percent during the past year, from 7,175 markets in 2011 to 7,864 this year.