[r85] Rep. Pond Column (4/21/2009)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Start Date: 4/21/2009 All Day
End Date: 4/21/2009

I would like to inform you about a $5 million grant fund for the Farmers' Market Promotion Program. This is a federal grant with the purpose of improving and increasing direct farmer-to-consumer marketing.


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


If you operate a farmers' market, I highly recommend taking advantage of this opportunity and applying for the Farmers' Market Promotion Program Grant.


The application deadline is April 27, 2009. To learn more information on the grants, requirements and applying, please visit http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5075760&acct=fmpp.


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 advertisement such as billboards, newspaper ads, radio ads and television ads.


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


The U.S. Department of Agriculture will prioritize grants to proposals 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.

·         Programs that 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


Kroger and Marsh are just fine, but Indiana produces the best produce in the world and I highly suggest investigating this opportunity.

Here are some local farmers' markets I encourage you to visit:

·         Allen County Ag Producer's Association/South Side Farmers' Market

·         Auburn Farm Market

·         Auburn Farmers' Market

·         Barr Street Farmers' Market

·         Buch's Berry Farm

·         Hilger's Friendly Market

·         Schmucker's Produce Market

·         Sulphur Hill Farm Gardens & South Side Farmers' Market