FMC Submits Comments on Farmers Market Promotion Program

      Posted On: November 29, 2010

On October 1st, a notice was filed in the Federal Register soliciting input on the paperwork requirements of the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program.  The announcement, ‘FMPP: Notice of Request for Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection’ asks for comments on various aspects of the grant program, including the paperwork requirements, information-collection burden on applicants, and “ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected.”  In particular, the Agricultural Marketing Service wants to know whether the information it collects from applicants and grantees is necessary, whether they should require use of what are now Voluntary Narrative & Budget Forms, and how they can minimize burden on applicants and awardees.
As the grant program ramps up to $10 million in 2011, it’s important that the farmers market community weigh in on potential improvements that could maximize outcomes for farmers while building capacity in market organizations. November 30th is the deadline for submitting comments on the Web site.

Last month, the Farmers Market Coalition conducted a brief survey of its membership base in October 2010 to collect input on the items for which AMS solicited feedback in this notice, as well as on other elements of the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP).  We received 79 responses, in addition to several one-on-one phone calls, in-person conversations, and e-mails from various applicants, awardees, and reviewers over the last two years.

The Farmers Market Coalition has prepared a seven page letter in response to this request, and encourages its members to submit their own comments in support of these recommendations, or with specific input of their own.  Comments are due on Tuesday, November 30th.  Submit your comments here.