Rochester Public MarketAt midnight on Sept. 1, the votes were in and the tally was announced: The Rochester Public Market had been voted as the country’s favorite large farmer’s market.

The national contest attracted over 50,000 voters and with more than 5,200 votes, the Rochester Public Market blew away the competition with nearly double the amount of votes as the runner-up, the Davis Farmer’s Market in Davis, Ca.

The market celebrates its 105th year of operation this year. Serving the Rochester community every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, the Public Market’s year-round dedication to the city and its people has not gone unnoticed.

The American Farmland Trust holds the annual “America’s Favorite Farmer’s Markets” contest in order to emphasize the importance of supporting freshly grown food and products from local farmers.

Its message is that our nation relies on its farms and ranches for food, yet these vital contributors are rapidly disappearing. Support of locally grown products will ensure the continued operation and production of farms and ranches.

People had the opportunity to vote for as many different markets as they wanted, but they were unable to place multiple votes for a single market. Voting lasted from June 1 until Aug. 31.

The top four farmer’s markets are to be allotted a shipment of recyclable and personalized “No Farms No Food” bags and other various prizes.

Junior Ryan Gelfand visited the Public Market for the first time last weekend and thoroughly enjoyed his experience. “I loved the great prices and the huge selection of fresh produce they offered,” he said.

Strolling through the bustling aisles of the market on a sunny Saturday morning highlights the eclectic gathering of people united by a common support of local farmers.

With over 300 vendors offering fresh produce, ethnic delicacies, flowers and other goods for reasonable prices, the market attracts more than 40,000 customers on a typical Saturday.

Senior Stephen Antos is a big fan of all that the Public Market has to offer. “The Public Market is awesome,” he said. “They have everything from fresh fruit and veggies to kitchen utensils and clothes. It’s really cheap too, so I can get a lot of food.”

The Westside Farmer’s Market, located on Genesee Street in Rochester, was also recognized and was awarded eighth place in the contest for Boutique Markets.

Ostrander is a member of the class of 2013.

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