Hugh Weathers, South Carolina's commissioner of agriculture, announced that Gov. Nikki Haley has proclaimed August as Farmers Market Month in South Carolina, an extension of National Farmers Market Week, Aug. 7-13.

To celebrate farmers markets as a valuable part of the state's food distribution system and to encourage consumers to buy local produce and products, Weathers encourages everyone to eat local by shopping at any of the department's three farmers markets or nearly 115 community-based markets across the state, an increase of 15 in one year.

"The local farmers market is a great place to teach children about the origin of their food," Weathers says. "It's also a great way to support your local farmers by buying locally grown."

He added consumers should look for the Certified SC Grown logo.

"If you don't see it then ask for it," Weathers advises.

Farmers markets allow consumers to have access to locally grown, farm-fresh produce and products and enable farmers the opportunity to develop a personal relationship with their customers. Direct marketing of farm products through farmers markets continues to be an important sales outlet for agricultural producers throughout the state and nation.

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