Hernando Farmers Market Awarded $197,677 for U.S.D.A. FMPP Grant
WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2018 – Under Secretary Greg Ibach today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $102.7 million to increase opportunities for farmers, ranchers and other growers across the country through five grant programs. The funding supports a variety of locally-led projects intended to expand markets for local food promotion and specialty crops.
“Every state has agricultural priorities that contribute to the well-being of farm families, consumers and the economic health of rural America,” said Ibach. “These programs target resources to the state, local and regional level where the people who understand the issues best can find solutions that help everyone.”
“The Hernando Farmers Market applied for funding to increase capacity of the market. We are fortunate to receive the grant as it gives people of all-ages an opportunity for entrepreneurship through agriculture and provides fresh, healthy and accessible farm products to our citizens and surrounding communities” said Gia Matheny, Community Development Director, “Increasing the number of vendors, shoppers and variety of products will also increase tourism to our city and improve our local economy.” The grant will provide marketing and technical assistance and aims to add targeted outreach to shoppers and producers in the region to determine successful message strategies. The project will build on metrics already collected through the Indicators for Impact project run by the Farmers Market Coalition (FMC) and the University of Wisconsin- Madison, which the market participated in 2015-2016.
“Today, farm-to-table is practically de rigueur, and consumers are taking their dedication to local foods to the next level. Shoppers, especially millennials, are increasingly patronizing farmers markets and seeking out restaurants that source local goods beyond just produce,” Tricia Smith, Food Logistics. Funding will allow the Hernando Farmers Market to facilitate meetings and invite experts to lead training workshops and resource development for market vendors, working in partnership with other markets. Support from Extension will offer seasonal food handling and risk management technical assistance to market vendors throughout the three years of the project. “I’m looking forward to providing the educational opportunities to help grow the market which in turn helps the growers and young farmers have a place to sell, “ Joy Anderson, DeSoto County Extension. The market is a place for our community to socialize and access fresh local products. “We are grateful to receive the grant as it benefits our city giving those young and old an opportunity for entrepreneurship through agriculture,” Mayor Tom Ferguson.
The resources announced are administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and include:
- $13.35 million is directed to 49 projects supporting direct producer-to-consumer marketing projects such as farmers markets, community-supported agriculture programs, roadside stands, and agri-tourism through the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP).
USDA supports local and regional food systems and increases consumer access to fresh, healthy foods through applied research, technical services and Congressionally-funded grants administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). More information is available at: www.ams.usda.gov.