Last season, local growers were forced to compete with resale vendors who, not only didn't grow anything whatsoever, but who traveled to Kentucky and other states to purchase produce to sell at OUR farmer's market. Mr Chadwell has been working with City Manager Jim Shipley to draft new rules for OUR farmer's market that encourages this to go on and directly sanctions farmers from Southern Kentucky to sell at OUR farmer's market. We believe this is not only unfair for the farmer but it is dishonest to consumers who assume that the purchases they make at farmer's market are locally grown or produced.
The problem is not the rules-it is the lack of enforcement. We support a City Ordinance that gives the City of Cookeville the jurisdiction over enforcement of rules as they stand. These rules do not allow for any wholesale or second sales. These rules allow only farms from Putnam County and bordering counties to sell at OUR farmers market. These rules require farms from outside Putnam County to provide certification from their local Ag Extension office to prove that they do, in fact, grow what they are selling. These rules were drafted to ensure the integrity of the farmers market in Cookeville.
In these dire economic times it is imperative that we keep our money where we live. Currently, only 7% of food dollars spent at traditional retailers stays in the community. Local agriculture it VITAL to our State's economy.
Please sign and share this petition and help us keep our local farmer's market LOCAL.