Furry Friends and Fresh Produce at the U’s Farmers Market

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(Photo by Preston Zubal)

(Photo by Preston Zubal)
(Photo by Preston Zubal)

Every Thursday in front of the Student Service Building, the U hosts a farmers market where students, staff and professors can stock up on locally grown fruits and vegetables and buy hand-stitched bracelets and clothing.
The farmers market has a theme each week. Yesterday’s was “Happy Pets, Healthy People,” which allowed vendors and shoppers to bring their pets onto campus. Dogs of all ages and breeds walked through the market.
Many animal activist companies in the community, such as the Intermountain Therapy Animals Association, set up tents at the market.
Cindy Yorgason, a member of the association, brought her service dog, Axel, to the market.
“I’ve had Axel since he was eight weeks old, and he has been a certified service dog for two years,” Yorgason said.
For many people, a service dog is so important for the healing process, said Yorgason. People with physical disabilities as well as those with mental disorders are often certified to have service animals.
The Best Friends Animal Society set up a booth to promote their advocacy program against putting down animals in shelters. Over six pets are killed per minute in the shelters, adding up to over 9,000 pets per day. No-Kill Utah, or NKUT, is led by the Best Friends Animal Society.
Jaimi Hagg, a volunteer for Best Friends Animal Society, said she likes to advocate for the society at different farmers markets. Hagg has been a part of the society for 25 years.
“What makes me want to be a part of it is that it is leading the NKUT movement across the United States,” Hagg said. “We have 47 coalition partners in shelter and rescue groups that make up NKUT.”
This was the first time the organization came to the U’s farmers market, but Hagg said she has been to six markets in the last few months.
“I love going to farmers markets to see the outreach and the people,” Hagg said. “We love to show what our program will offer people and animals in Utah. [The animals] are part of the family and a big part of our community.”
The farmers market is open to professors too. Kathryn Grace, a geography professor, walked around the market with her dog, Dot.
“I bring Dot on campus about two times a week with me,” Grace said. “It relaxes my students, and they love seeing her.”
Next Thursday’s market will have the theme “Cooking on an Adventure,” where attendees will learn about healthy, lightweight foods to bring on outdoor excursions.
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@JulianneSkrivan