The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approximately $10 million in funding for the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) to help create farmers markets in underserved areas as a way to increase availability of local agricultural products, Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., announced.
"The money can help rural, tribal and urban economies create direct marketing opportunities, like farmers markets, for our Louisiana farmers,” Strain said. “It's an opportunity for our smaller towns and inner city urban areas to obtain greater access to healthy, fresh food and minimize the impact of food deserts."
Completed applications must be received – not just postmarked – by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service no later than close of business on July 1. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered, nor will incomplete applications.
An “FMPP Pre-Application Guide is available at http://www.ams.usda.gov/FMPP.
Priority status will be granted to those projects that expand healthy food choices in food deserts, which can be identified at http://www.ers.usda.gov/data/fooddesert. Groups eligible to apply for the funding include agricultural cooperatives, producer networks and associations, local government entities, nonprofit corporations, public benefit corporations, economic development corporations, regional farmers market authorities and tribal governments.
Further information is available by writing Carmen Humphrey, Program Manager, Farmers Market Promotion Program, AMS, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 4509 – South Building, Washington, DC 20250, or by calling (202) 720-8317; or fax (202) 690-0031.