Arkansas Farmers Market Week began Monday.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has proclaimed Aug. 5-11 as Arkansas Farmers Market Week to highlight the important benefits that farmers markets provide to Arkansas's agricultural producers, consumers and communities, according to a news release.

Farmers market managers, partners, leaders, and stakeholders will gather at the state Capitol today for an official presentation of the proclamation by Hutchinson.

"More than 100 Arkansas farmers markets are important outlets for agricultural producers, connecting them to consumers who are increasingly more interested in investing in locally sourced products," Hutchinson, who wrapped up a second annual Agriculture Tour this week, said in the release. "We proudly join in a week of celebrating the role agriculture and farmers markets play in strengthening our communities, and in keeping our residents healthy."

Farmers markets across the state play a key role in developing local and regional food systems that support the sustainability of Arkansas farms and help revitalize rural communities, Hutchinson notes. More than 66 percent of Arkansas counties are home to farmers markets.

Consumers can find a list of Arkansas Farmers Markets at the Arkansas Agriculture Department's Arkansas www.arkansasgrown.org program database and at Arkansas Farmers Market Association website: www.arkansasfarmersmarketassociation.com.

"Farmers markets allow customers to learn where their food is coming from and about the farmers who are growing it," says Arkansas Agriculture Secretary Wes Ward. "Family farming is a rich, historic tradition in Arkansas, and we appreciate the many benefits that farmers markets provide to Arkansas producers, consumers and the economy of our rural communities."

The United States Department of Agriculture declared Aug. 5-11 as National Farmers Market Week.