by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL
Listen up people. When the fat lady sings next Wednesday evening (Aug. 31) at 12:00 a.m. midnight, the America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest will be over.
Rockford Farm Market has been tenaciously clinging to the lead in this nationwide contest for the past eight weeks. Not only do we lead overall in all market size categories, more importantly, we also lead in our small market size category.
Our opponent, Venice, Fla., is wily. Their strategy in this contest, these past many weeks, is to hang just behind Rockford in vote totals and then overnight close the gap. We are fearful of what might occur in the final hours of voting on August 31.
Remember we are talking about Florida, the state of the “hanging chads.”
To those of you who have already voted, either online at www.farmland.org/vote or personally during recent Saturday morning visits to the voting site at Rockford Farm Market, we thank you ever so much. However, your support is still needed in these final days and hours of the contest. We ask you to use your considerable social media networking skills to reach out to any and everyone to also cast their votes for Rockford’s great farm market.
What would really put us over the top is if every organization (you know who you are) in the greater Rockford community that annually asks for support for their various causes would return the favor by reaching out to their supporters to, in turn, support the City of Rockford-sponsored farm market.
This contest has become somewhat more than farm market versus farm market. It has somehow morphed into a state-versus-state competition of bragging rights, with two farm markets in Michigan (Rockford and the U.P.’s Manistique) vying for titles in their respective market size categories against two farm markets in Florida (Venice and North Port). We ourselves like to think of this as a contest between “Pure Michigan” and “Alligator Alley.”
For Rockford and Manistique, this has been an unbelievable and improbable journey. The Michigan cities are the Davids versus the Goliaths down south. For Rockford itself, surely our commitment to excellence and winning combined with our giving and generous natures will result in the supportive peoples of the Rockford community carrying the day.
Now for one very last time, let’s win two for Michigan. If you haven’t voted, go online to www.farmland.org/vote, or simpler still, visit the Rockford Farm Market this Saturday (your last opportunity to vote in person) and add your vote to the more than 4,000 that have already been cast. We need your vote for what we all know in our hearts: Rockford Farm Market is truly America’s Favorite Farmers Market.