Farmers markets have a stake in improving public policies on a wide range of issues—from agriculture to public health. More than 8,600 farmers markets serve small towns and big cities, as well as people from all ages, races, and backgrounds. Moreover, the billions of dollars that farmers markets generate in communities across America create jobs and generate economic activity.
As Congress debates the next Farm Bill we need to remind them of the importance of farmers markets and local agriculture in our communities.
Having the tools and confidence to communicate what your market does and what your policy priorities are to decision-makers is as important as ever. FMC’s Advocacy Toolkit provides guidance in communicating to local, state and federal legislators the importance of farmers markets.
Video Series: Meeting with Elected Officials About Farmers Markets
In this five part series, Gary Matteson of The Farm Credit Council and FMC Board Member explains why advocacy is important for farmers markets, and breaks down the steps towards building strong, lasting relationships with elected officials.
Communicating with Elected Officials Playlist
Part 1: Plan Ahead for Your Meeting (6:52)
Part 2: Convey a Clear Message (4:27)
Part 3: Build a Lasting Relationship (10:09)
Part 4: Prepare for Tough Questions (3:12)
Part 5: Be a Confident & Passionate Leader (5:59)
FMC Policy Priorities
The Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives (FINI) Program provides grants on a competitive basis to projects that help low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) purchase more fresh fruits and vegetables through cash incentives that increase their purchasing power at locations like farmers markets. In the program’s first year it was responsible for tens of millions of additional servings of fruits and vegetables and over ten million dollars in direct stimulus to American farmers …. Read more
FMPP strives to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets by developing, improving, expanding, and providing outreach, training, and technical assistance to, or assisting in the development, improvement, and expansion of, domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agritourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities. Read more
SFMNP provides low-income seniors with coupons for use at their local farmers market, to purchase unprocessed fruits, vegetables, honey, and fresh-cut herbs. In 2015, the program benefited 817,751 low-income seniors at 3,774 farmers’ markets and 3,203 roadside stands. 20,329 farmers received income from SFMNP benefits in 2015 […] Read more
The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) provides low-income young and expecting families access to fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables at farmers markets while reinvesting government dollars into local economies and providing crucial revenue to small farmers. were authorized to accept FMNP checks or coupons. In 2015, the program cost-effectively provided fresh produce to more than 1.7 million WIC families at 3,390 farmers’ markets and 2,894 roadside stands. These benefits represent $14 million in income going directly to 18,000 farmers[…] Read more
$19.4 million in SNAP benefits were redeemed at farmers markets across the US in 2015, a fourfold increase since 2009[…] Read more
Enacted in 2011, FSMA may impact sales of products at farmers markets, depending upon FDA’s interpretation of the law[…] Read more
CVV has the potential to direct upwards of $500 million a year to farmers markets, but challenges at the state and market level are limiting the impact of this important program[…] Read more
FMC Advocacy Resources and Actions
The 2014 Farm Bill strengthened programs such as the Farmers Market Promotion Program and created the successful Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Grant Program. FMC is an active member of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, through which it continues to advocate for farmers market-friendly food safety regulations, EBT assistance, and direct agricultural marketing programs.
Join FMC or sign up for the quarterly FMC newsletter to stay up-to-date with how you can support farmers market policies and to receive many other member-only benefits.