New York State Announces Farmers Market Grant Program

ALBANY— New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker has announced the release of the Farmers’ Markets Grant Program Request for Proposals (RFP). This grant program provides up to $25,000 in matching funds for the construction, reconstruction, improvement, expansion, or rehabilitation of farmers’ markets in New York State.

“Farmers’ markets have become an increasingly popular venue for both farmers and consumers alike,” the Commissioner said. “They provide access to locally grown farm and food products for consumers and a direct sale for farmers. With Governor Paterson’s support, we are pleased to be able to offer these grants that will help these markets make the permanent infrastructure improvements needed to meet the growing demand they are receiving.”

As part of the Grow New York program, Governor Paterson allocated $150,000 for this program in his Executive Budget that will aid in the construction of permanent infrastructure to support increased access to New York grown and produced food at farmers’ markets throughout the State. Applicants can apply for up to $25,000 in matching funds, which should not exceed more than 50% of the project cost.

Eligible farmers’ markets are any building or property, owned or leased by any municipal corporation, market authority, public benefit corporation, not-for-profit or agricultural cooperative, that has two or more agricultural producers offering for sale farm and food products to consumers.

Proposals must involve physical improvement to a farmers’ market, such as construction, site preparation, water or electrical improvements, permanent signage, equipment or architectural or engineering designs.

Farmers’ Markets Grant applications are available by contacting Meg McCabe at the Department at 1-800-554-4501 or by downloading the form from the Department’s website at http://www.agmkt.state.ny.us/RFPS.html. All applications for funding are due into the Department by July 27.

New York has approximately 1,000 farmers participating in nearly 400 farmers’ markets located throughout the State. The State’s Farmers’ Markets Grant Program has awarded $995,400 to 63 farmers’ market facility improvement projects since the program began in 2000.