Farmers Market Grants Available

USDA’s grant program helps with improvements and expansions of farmers markets, roadside stands, CSA programs and more.

| April 3, 2009

  • A box of fresh produce changes hands.
    A box full of fresh produce changes hands. De Stefano
  • Buying fresh produce at the local farmers market.
    Buying fresh produce at a local farmers' market. Flake
  • Selling fresh produce.
    A worker at a local farmers' market wraps up fresh produce for a customer. Krebs

  • A box of fresh produce changes hands.
  • Buying fresh produce at the local farmers market.
  • Selling fresh produce.

Lyons, Nebraska – April 27 is the last day to submit applications for USDA's Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) grants.

The grants, authorized by the Farmers Market Promotion Program, are targeted to help improve and expand domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities. Approximately $5 million is allocated for the FMPP program. The minimum award per grant is $2,500, with a maximum of $100,000 for any one proposal. Matching funds are not required. Entities eligible to apply include agricultural cooperatives, local governments, nonprofit corporations, public health corporations, economic development corporations, regional farmers' market authorities and Tribal governments.

"The Farmers Market Promotion Program is a great opportunity to help producers and communities cover some of the start-up costs of establishing a local farmers market or other form of direct marketing from agricultural products from producers to consumers," says Mike Heavrin, cooperative development manager at the Center for Rural Affairs.

According to Heavrin, farmers markets are good for communities, bringing farmers and consumers together to create a stronger local economy and providing consumers with fresh, affordable produce. And the flexibility of the grants, absence of matching fund requirements and the additional funding provided by Congress should allow the Farmers Market Promotion Program to potentially reach a lot more communities, especially rural communities with markets that are smaller or just starting up.

The Farmers Market Promotion Program was created through a recent amendment of the Farmer-to-Consumer Direct Marketing Act of 1976. For more information on the Farmers Market Promotion Program Grants and how to apply, visit the website. Or contact Mike Heavrin at the Center for Rural Affairs at (402) 687-2103 ext. 1008 or for assistance.

For more information also visit the Center of Rural Affairs website. 

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