[r54] Grants for Farmers' Markets Available Through U.S. Department of Agriculture (4/20/2009)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Start Date: 4/20/2009 All Day
End Date: 4/20/2009
STATEHOUSE - Rep. Tom Saunders (R-Lewisville) on Monday announced a $5 million grant fund for the Farmers' Market Promotion Program. This is a competitive, federal grant designed to improve and increase direct farmer-to-consumer marketing.

Community supported agriculture programs, farmers' markets and roadside stands are targeted for the program.

"I encourage anyone interested to take advantage of this grant opportunity," Rep. Saunders said.  "The grant is open for existing farmer's markets and those looking to start up a new market. "

The application deadline is April 27.

These grants would provide assistance with organizing, marketing, training, business plan development, community outreach and education to improve direct market opportunities.

Farmers' market promotion grants have been used in the past for educational workshops for farmers' market managers and vendors. Grants have also been used for advertising the markets.

The minimum grant amount given is $2,500 and the maximum amount is $100,000.

In awarding grants, the U.S. Department of Agriculture considers applications that:

· Develop new federal nutrition programs at farmers' markets.

· Offer training and education programs for new farm marketers on benefits, challenges and logistics of agricultural marketing in specific regions.

· Focus on recruitment and retention of new farmers to participate in farmers' markets.

· Improve and modernize the professional organization for farmers' market managers, vendors, boards and agricultural organizations in order to optimize performance and customer relations

For more information about the grant application and the program go online to the Agricultural Marketing Service Web site at http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5075760&acct=fmpp or contact Traci Bruckner by e-mail at tracib@cfra.org or by phone at 402-687-2103 ext. 1016.