State farmers' markets may be in trouble - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

State farmers' markets may be in trouble

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April 11, 2003

Moultrie - Robert Christian is a frequent shopper at Bill's Produce. "I buy from here all the time for my produce stand in Albany," said Christian.

Shutting down this farmer's market will devastate Christian's business. But that's just what state leaders are suggesting to rectify the state's ailing budget.

"If the market stands, I stand. If it doesn't, I just don't know what will happen," said Christian.

Christian's not alone. Ten different produce businesses are found in Moultrie's State Farmer's Market, employing nearly 100 people. Like Wayne Mills who owns Market Ice House. "I just bought this thing about 6 years ago and it's running real good now," said Mills. "If they were to shut this place down, it put me in a real bad place financially."

Produce business owners say sales are going well, and shutting this market down would be a huge mistake. "Everyone is going to be negatively effected by this," said Ronnie Strange, Market Manager. "The public comes here to buy their produce, the farmers come here to get rid of their produce, and the owners and workers make their living here."

This market brought in a total of about 17 million dollars last year, and employees believe sales are only increasing. They say if state leaders are looking for somewhere to make budget cuts, they need to look elsewhere.

posted at 1:30 by ashley.harper@walb.com