AMS No. 033-09
Billy Cox (202) 720-8998
Joan Shaffer (202) 720-8998
WASHINGTON, March 13, 2009 –– The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced that it is accepting applications for competitive grants targeted to helping increase consumption of agricultural commodities by expanding direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities. This is the fourth year of the grant program, the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP), which was authorized by the Farmer-to-Consumer Direct Marketing Act of 1976 and amended by the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (the Farm Bill).
The primary objective of FMPP grants is to help eligible entities improve and expand domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agritourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities. Eligible entities include: agricultural cooperatives, producer networks, producer associations, local governments, non-profit corporations, public benefit corporations, economic development corporations, regional farmers' market authorities and Tribal Governments.
About $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.
“Last year the Farmers Market Promotion Program was a great success, helping support 85 projects across the country,” said Acting Agricultural Marketing Service Administrator Dave Shipman. “The benefits of direct-to-consumer marketing are two fold – it offers consumers fresh, affordable, convenient and healthy products and it helps our farmers supplement their incomes.” This year the program will provide 10 percent of the total funds for projects that develop and support new electronic benefit transfers (EBT) programs for federal nutrition programs at farmers’ markets.
Information on how to apply for a grant will be published in the March 13, 2009, issue of the Federal Register and posted on the AMS website at http://www.ams.usda.gov/FMPP. Applications and proposals must be received by AMS no later than close of business on April 27, 2009. Applications received after April 27, 2009, will not be considered.
For more information, contact Errol R. Bragg, Director, Marketing Services Division, Transportation and Marketing Programs, AMS, by: mail to Room 2646-South, STOP 0269, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, D.C. 20250; phone 202/720-8317; fax 202/690-0031; or e-mail to USDAFMPP@usda.gov