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Anne Arundel County Farmer’s Market announces new President

| March 13, 2020, 01:09 PM

The Anne Arundel County Farmers’ Market (AACFM) has announced the election of its new president Jose A. Prieto-Figueroa of The Bay Mushrooms. Mr. Prieto-Figueroa takes over for long time president Martin Zehner.

In 1984, Mr. Zehner became president and guided the growth of AACFM for 35 years from its beginnings in an unroofed parking area on Riva Road with a handful of vendors to its current location at the corner of Riva Road and Truman Parkway. The market began with a handful of vendors offering summer produce only, but now boasts more than 80 vendors offering a wide variety of goods from locally sourced produce, fruits and baked goods, to hand-made crafts, garments and wooden works.

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With Mr. Zehner at the helm selling his goods every Saturday, he and the county worked to make the market more convenient and comfortable for its customers. Today, the market, under a large covered pavilion with expansive parking, is open Sundays year-round, Saturday from April through December, and Wednesday from the end of May until September. It has the longest season in the state and is open year round.

AACFM is an Agricultural Service Corporation running the market for its members. In 1994, AACFM rededicated the building to the memory of Michael R. Cirino, one of its original founders. Today, Mr. Zehner’s name also adorns the building.

Since 2006, AACFM runs monthly television programs and has a website, aacofarmersmarket.com , providing customers with information about the market.

New president Prieto-Figueroa was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Mr. Prieto-Figueroa earned a bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Crop Protection (Plant Pathology) from the University of Puerto Rico. He began growing mushrooms in 2001 as part of his bachelor’s degree in Plant Pathology.

In 2009, Mr. Prieto-Figueroa moved to Cambridge where he and his family grow vegetables and 250-300 pounds of mushrooms a week in two mushroom-growing houses. They also own a 20-acre farm in Federalsburg.

Mr. Prieto-Figueroa also works for the University of Maryland Extension Service as a Nutrient Management Advisor and has been a member of the market since 2014.

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Category: Businesses, LIFE IN THE AREA, Local News, NEWS

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