USDA says Arkansas farmers markets grow to 97

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Records from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show the number of farmers markets in Arkansas has more than tripled over the past decade.

The media reports the number of farmers markets has swelled from 28 in 2004 to 97 in 2014. Five markets were added this year. That makes Arkansas' growth the sixth-highest in the country.

Zachary Taylor with the state's agriculture department says relaxed regulations and a desire for local food have expanded established markets and created new ones.

A 2011 law allowed individuals to sell homemade products without oversight from the state's health department. It allows leftover products to become a new source of revenue at farmers markets.

Taylor says the law opened a way for farmers to sell jellies year-round from leftover fruit.