If you like to eat good food, then join me in celebrating National Farmers Market Week, Aug. 7-Aug. 13.

Buying fresh, Louisiana-grown produce is a great way to show your support for our farmers, ranchers and dairymen, who supply produce, meat, seafood and other products to farmers markets throughout the state.

There are now nearly 150 farmers markets and roadside stands scattered across the state, making access to Louisiana’s bountiful offerings easier and more convenient than ever.

Take your children to the farmers market, teach them where their food comes from, and meet the farmers who actually produce the food.

Today’s farmers markets have a wide range of locally produced offerings, from seasonal fruits and vegetables to eggs, milk, honey, herbs, fresh meat, seafood and even flowers. Locally grown produce tastes better than produce shipped from hundreds of miles away. Louisiana is blessed with an abundance of available fresh food; there is no need to look any farther.

In the Baton Rouge area, there are at least five farmers markets for you to shop; and while you’re shopping, keep in mind that agriculture is an important sector of Louisiana’s economy and contributes more than $9.9 billion to the benefit of our state.

For your convenience, a list of farmers markets and roadside stands is available on the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry webpage at http://www.LDAF.la.gov. Just click on “Louisiana Grown” for the locations.

Bon appétit!

Mike Strain, DVM, commissioner

Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry

Baton Rouge