A new funding program for farmers markets called the Farmers Market Promotion Program was released last month by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. Originally approved as part of the 2002 Farm Bill to help expand opportunities for farmers markets, community supported agriculture, and other direct producer-to-consumer marketing efforts, the program was funded for the first time this year, receiving $1 million.

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Chuck Conner announced on March 14, 2006 that USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will award new competitive grants to help expand opportunities for direct producer-to-consumer marketing.

“USDA is committed to helping our nation’s agricultural producers find innovative ways to enhance their economic opportunities,” said Conner. “This new grant program, which supports direct-to-consumer marketing, will help to deliver consumers farm-fresh, affordable, convenient and healthy products, while helping our farmers supplement their income.”

The grants, authorized by the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP), are targeted to help improve and expand domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities. Entities eligible to apply include agricultural cooperatives, local governments, nonprofit corporations, public benefit corporations, economic development corporations, regional farmers market authorities and Tribal governments.

The FMPP was authorized through a recent amendment to the Farmer-to-Consumer Direct Marketing Act of 1976. There is approximately $1 million allocated for fiscal year 2006, with no single proposal allowed to receive more than $75,000. Proposals were due on May 1, 2006 and grants should be announced by early fall 2006. More details on the grant are available on the USDA AMS website.

For more information, contact:

Errol R. Bragg,

Associate Deputy Administrator, AMS Room 2646-S; STOP 0269

1400 Independence Ave., SW

Washington, D.C. 20250

Voice: (202) 720-8317,

Fax: (202) 690-0031

USDAFMPP@usda.gov

Tagged with →