Jody McAnally was born and raised in Oklahoma City and graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in Journalism. Before managing the OKC Farmers Market, Jody served as president of both the Paseo CDC and Children’s Hospital Volunteers. Find and follow the OKC Farmer’s Market on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
To read more about the “true” eating local movement, read the full discussion article that inspired the interview.
AM: The OKC Farmers Market has been a staple in the eating local community for years. How has the market grown and changed over the years?
JODY: Since its inception in 1928, the Historic Oklahoma City Farmers Public Market has served as a centralized local food hub for Oklahoma farmers, ranchers, grocers, distributors and consumers to purchase, trade or sell fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy and value-added items. The rich history of this district is evident in the very construction of the buildings, with remnants of produce coolers in every building, open-air markets around the corner and the flagship of the Oklahoma City Farmers Market District, the actual 34,000-square-foot Farmers Public Market building.
In an effort to restore the traditional public farmers market to the Historic Oklahoma City Farmers Public Market, we offer a Farmers Market on Saturdays from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm. These gatherings feature produce, meat, homemade goods and value-added items like honey, baked goods and more. The open market is a year-round affair and located on the first floor of the Historic Oklahoma City Farmers Public Market.
AM: Was there a surge of interest after shopping and eating local became more prominent?
JODY: There has been substantial growth and interest partially due to social media platforms, the "farm to table" movement and public awareness of the benefits of eating foods that are fresh from local farms. Our vendors are the actual growers and/or creators of the products they sell. They are more than happy to explain and extol the virtues of their goods. Communication is the key.
AM: How does the Farmers Market benefit the OKC community?
JODY: The OKC Farmers Public Market opened in 1928 as OKC's first centralized farmers market, with over 200 vendors. Social and economic factors such as urban sprawl, more efficient transportation and corporate farming eventually reduced the farmers market to a single grocery store that eventually went out of business.
The farmers market was officially resurrected in 2016 after the creation of The Farmers Market District in conjunction with the Urban Agrarian and all the existing food service companies already in the area.
Today, the Market offers locally grown produce, farm-raised meats, wines, cheeses, baked goods, jams, jellies, fresh-cut flowers and locally made arts and crafts. Consumers enjoy the opportunity to buy high-quality, fresh products directly from farmers at competitive prices.
Craving more information about the local food movement? Check out discussion article.