BOISE -- It is Farmers Market Week in Idaho.
The weeklong event is designed to encourage people to support local farmers and ranchers by visiting the markets.
Every week the families of Homestead Natural Foods ruffle through their coolers pulling out the perfect cuts of meat to take to sell.
“The farmers markets are exciting just because of the interaction with the final user,” said Bill Gale, Homestead Natural Foods.
Each week the families sell their grass-fed beef at five farmers markets.
“They know who we are, they know who is growing their food,” said Ed Wilsey, Homestead Natural Foods.
And it seems more people want that experience. Today, there are farmers markets in almost every corner of the state.
“We have 55 of them across the state now, and in 2006 we only had 26," said Laura Johnson with the Idaho Department of Agriculture.
The Idaho Department of Agriculture says the markets are great for teaching and the economy.
“It is a real opportunity to educate people more about agriculture to learn more about the great abundant food source we have in this state and to support local producers," said Johnson.
The department says hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent at the markets each year. All that money stays in the local economy. But the farmers will tell you some days it is easier to sell than others.
“They are a lot of work, they don't always pencil out in terms of making money every week," said Gale.
Even if they don't make a profit each week, the families of Homestead say the feedback makes it all worth it.
“We bought a rib steak last week. It was the best one we've ever had. We love those kinds of compliments," said Gale.
"I personally don't ever want to lose that connection with the community," said Wilsey.
Farmers Market week will end Saturday. There is a big celebration planned at the Capitol City Market. Celia Gould, the Director of the Idaho Department of Agriculture will speak, there will be a food competition, and lots of fresh food to buy.