FAYETTEVILLE — Northwest Arkansas farmers market patrons are encouraged to visit area markets in July with a passport program that can make them eligible for prizes.

The Northwest Arkansas Farmers Market Trail will be a 5-week celebration of the diversity of farmers markets in the area, said Heather Friedrich, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture program manager and Northwest Arkansas Farmers Market Alliance facilitator.

The program is presented by NWAFMA and the Division of Agriculture department of horticulture.

“The goal is to encourage people to visit new markets, meet new farmers, vendors and people, and explore cities they do not regularly seek out,” Friedrich said. “And to have fun,” she added.

During July, shoppers get a passport at their local farmers market, Friedrich said. They visit as many participating farmers markets in the region and get the passport stamped at each one. If five or more markets are visited, they submit the entry form from the back page of the passport to their local farmers market manager to enter a drawing for prizes donated by the market.

Passports must be turned in by Aug. 1 to be eligible for the drawing during National Farmers Market Week, Aug. 5-11.

Participants can sign up for passports in advance at https://nwafarmersmarkets.org.

Cities with participating markets include Bella Vista, Bentonville, Eureka Springs, Fayetteville Gravette, Rogers, Siloam Springs, and Springdale, Friedrich said. Details on market times and locations for these can be found at https://nwafarmersmarkets.org.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without discrimination.

— Fred Miller is with the U of A System Division of Agriculture.