The Leelanau Farmers’ Market Association became an independent 5013c nonprofit organization in 2014, and now operates under a board of directors composed of market vendors and community members, with MSU Extension playing an advisory role. The mission of the LFMA continues to be “to provide locally produced farm and food products for the benefit of the Leelanau Community.”
Farmers markets are a win-win for Leelanau County – as they not only provide a way for people to access fresh, quality produce and other products – they also build community between consumers and farmers and contribute to the economic viability of farming in the region.
Accomplishments since the formation of the Leelanau Farmers Markets in 2000:
- Operated farmers markets in seven different communities: Leland, Suttons Bay, Empire, Glen Arbor, Northport, Lake Leelanau, and Cedar.
- Offered a wide variety of products for sale, ranging from fresh fruits and vegetables to baked goods, meats, eggs, maple syrup, honey, cut flowers, cheeses, nursery products, prepared foods, wine, and craft items.
- Attracted thousands of customers to the markets, generating thousands of dollars in economic activity.
- Increased the viability and visibility of farming for many different farms in Leelanau County.
- Was one of the first markets in Michigan to accept SNAP food assistance benefits and participate in the Double of Food Bucks program.
- Served as a destination for locals, seasonal residents, and transient tourists alike-providing a place for people to connect with each other, as well as area farmers.
- Supported K-12 educational programming by participating in special one day “indoor farmers markets” inside area schools including Leland, Glen Lake, Northport and Suttons Bay.