The Arizona Farm Bureau has launched Fill Your Plate, a new feature of www.azfb.org. Arizonans, chefs, and resorts now have a place to go to find fresh, locally grown, and raised products.

A recent study by Zogby International reports that nearly three in four Americans want to know where their food comes from and they like the idea of being able to buy local when possible. Arizona Farm Bureau’s Fill Your Plate program helps take care of this desire for Arizonans.

Thanks to new technologies and innovations in farming and ranching, the economic impact of Arizona agriculture has grown to a $9.2 billion industry producing food, fiber and ornamentals, says Arizona Farm Bureau President Kevin Rogers.

“We are raising different crops than a generation ago and directly marketing them to the public. For example, I sell hay directly to horse owners in the Phoenix area and our vegetable producers package their products that go directly to your supermarket. Fill Your Plate allows consumers to connect directly to the producers. It’s an exciting new feature on our web site,” Rogers said.

Fill Your Plate actually allows Arizona chefs, and the public to forge a relationship with Arizona’s farmers and ranchers, adds Director of Public Relations for Arizona Farm Bureau Julie Murphree and coordinator of the Fill Your Plate project.

“You benefit by knowing where to purchase Arizona-grown and raised produce and products. From apples to watermelons, and everything in between, Fill Your Plate is designed to let you gain the best knowledge of where your Arizona food comes from. Plus, our Arizona farmers and ranchers will benefit from the increased exposure of their quality products and services,” Murphree said.

If you’re looking for a special food item and want to buy it locally, go to www.azfb.org and click on the Fill Your Plate logo to discover if it’s available. While you cannot purchase directly through Fill Your Plate, producers’ web sites are provided and additional contact information is given.

For Arizona farmers and ranchers that are interested in selling directly to the public, contact Bridgette Crosby at (480) 635-3606 or bridgettecrosby@azfb.org for a Fill Your Plate application.