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VDACS promoting farm markets with a punch card

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Fans of the local offerings at farmers' markets now have another incentive to seek them out.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is offering a punch card for farm market customers who spend at least $10 each visit at a Virginia farmers' market. When a user collects 14 punches he or she can return the card to the market manager.

That gives them a chance at winning a Virginia Grown/Virginia's Finest gift basket worth $250. It includes fresh produce, specialty products that include peanuts and chocolate, herbs and cut flowers and plants. Every item comes from Virginia.

The department cited research by the Virginia Cooperative Extension that concludes if each household spent $10 a week on locally grown products, they would be investing $1.65 billion into the economy.