FMPP News! Promoting Farmers Market Impacts: Building Capacity for Data

      Posted On: December 3, 2021

FRESHFARM, Washington, DC. Photo by Reana Kovalcik.

We’re thrilled and humbled to be the recipients of a 2021 USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program Grant! As we gear up to take action on our project, we want to keep our membership in the loop on our plans and how this grant will impact the scope of our work over the coming years. Read on to learn more about our project: “Promoting Farmers Markets Impacts: Building Local and State Level Capacity for Data.”

What does this new project entail? 

Analyzing what is happening throughout any busy market season and knowing how and when to respond and use that information remains a challenge for most market operators. FMC has always offered support to market operators “where they are,” building resources and support that takes in account the dizzying set of tasks that any operator has on their checklist daily and to encourage market partners to align their data needs appropriately. 

Through this project we will build comprehensive website pages open to any market community of all available market-level evaluation resources, compare tools and software, and collect public data to assist markets and state associations in making the case to stakeholders to attract shoppers and vendors. This project will offer one-on-one evaluation support for markets in the five states  and also include national webinars for all market operators on choosing evaluation software, analyzing federal and state grants, measuring equity & vendor impacts and sharing data. 

This project will increase capacity for state farmers market associations in Alaska, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, and Vermont to add data-driven National Farmers Market Week promotion campaigns to improve the attendance at their markets and to help build and test a universal dataset of up-to-date market profiles and locations for state and national directories and consumer apps to use.

What does this mean for you, as a member of the Farmers Market Coalition?

This grant will have big impacts for how FMC can do our work connecting farmers market operators, finding the resources, and cultivating the support network that farmers market operators rely on. You’ll notice an increased emphasis on evaluation resources and more support to help market operators highlight their strengths when working with funders and attracting customers and vendors to their market community. 

Outcomes from this project will be shared widely on the FMC social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn), our market operator listserv, and our newsletter. Make sure you’re following along so you can learn with us.

What about other farmers market organizations who received grants? 

Many farmers market organizations and members of the national Farmers Market Coalition also received grants, and we’re thrilled to see what the future holds for all of these organizations and their projects. In this collaborative sector, we know that we will be learning from each other and that we can all benefit from this influx of funding into farmers market organizations across the country. At the bottom of this blog post we’ve included a list of farmers market organizations and FMC members who are Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program grant recipients for Fiscal Year 2021. 

If your organization did not receive a grant during this cycle, we encourage you to take time to review the reviewer comments that you received and consider reapplying! We’ve seen a lot of applicants revise previous applications with great success in later rounds. The upcoming GusNIP Grant funding cycle is a great opportunity for applicants who are currently running or would like to run a nutrition incentive program. 

In the near future, we want to understand how farmers markets are using the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program grants to grow their evaluation capacity, and how we can work together to offer better one-on-one assistance for farmers markets in 2022 and beyond. The FMC Farmers Market Support Team may reach out to grantees for more information on their project.

FMC Members and Partners who received Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program grants:  

Farmers Market Promotion Program: 

  • Alaska Farmers Markets Association
  • Ecology Center
  • Florida Farmers Market Associations
  • Community Alliance with Family Farmers
  • Pacific Coast Farmers Market Association 
  • Boulder County Farmers Markets 
  • University of Kentucky 
  • Michigan Farmers Market Association
  • Michigan State University
  • Farm Commons, Inc. 
  • Oxford Community Market 
  • Northside Farmers Market 
  • North Union Farmers Market
  • Gorge Grown Food Network 
  • Oregon Farmers Markets Association 
  • Project GROWS Inc. 
  • National Recreation and Park Association
  • Virginia Farmers Market Association 
  • West Virginia Farmers Market Association 
  • Wisconsin Farmers Market Association

Learn more about the details of these Farmers Market Promotion Program grants on the USDA Website here

Local Food Promotion Program: 

  • Winrock International
  • FairShare CSA Coalition

Learn more about the details of these Locla Food Promotion Program grants on the USDA Website here