State Farmers Market Association Survey Summary Released

Stacy May 11, 2009

The Farmers Market Coalition (FMC) initiated a study of state farmers market associations in January 2009, surveying all known existing farmers markets associations in the United States. The data collected in this survey, which represents responses from 26 participating organizations, is available in a new summary report on the FMC web site. The purpose of the survey was to identify how FMAs are organized, how they operate and what they need to effectively address the needs of farmers markets in their respective regions. An additional goal was to identify areas where FMAs could benefit from professional development, peer-to-peer learning and other services offered by FMC.

Law takes tax onus off Arkansas farmers markets

Stacy May 3, 2009

As vendors sell their produce and flowers at the 68 farmers markets opening across the state, they can breathe a collective sigh of relief.

They no longer must collect a state sales tax.

Gov. Mike Beebe signed Act 1205 into law April 8, allowing tax-free sales at farmers markets.

Without passage of the legislation, directors of farmers markets feared an exodus of vendors unwilling to negotiate the regulatory hurdles….

More Farmers Markets Accessible with EBT

Stacy April 28, 2009

Farmers markets throughout the United States are growing more accessible to participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. As of the end of FY 2008, 753 Farmers markets were authorized to accept SNAP benefits nationwide, a 34 percent increase from FY 2007. While the percentage of redemptions is very little, the amount of funds going to…

Reports Identify Need, Strategies to Bolster State and Local Food Safety Roles

Stacy April 17, 2009

The Food Safety Research Consortium announced a new report, “Stronger Partnerships for Safer Food: An Agenda for Strengthening State and Local Roles in the Nation’s Food Safety System,” was released on APRIL 17, 2009 at an event on the campus of The George Washington University in Washington, DC. The report is the culmination of a…

Shopping at Farmers Markets Can Save Money

Stacy April 16, 2009

On April 15, 2009, Tim Robinson at Seattle’s King 5 News reported on a study conducted by students at the University of Seattle which found farmers market prices, on average, about 20 cents cheaper per pound than at local grocery stores.

People’s Garden Planned Next to USDA Farmers Market

Stacy April 15, 2009

In March, USDA Secretary Vilsack announced the People’s Garden Initiative, and broke ground on what will be a certified organic vegetable garden at the USDA’s headquarters in Washington, DC. The garden will be directly adjacent to the USDA Farmers Market, which is on Wednesdays, one block from the National Mall. In an inaugural meeting of the USDA People’s Garden Partnership Forum, Sec. Vilsack said that the garden is in keeping with his vision of USDA as leader in sustainability– “sustainable farms, sustainable diets, and sustainable rural economies.”

People's Garden Planned Next to USDA Farmers Market

Stacy

In March, USDA Secretary Vilsack announced the People’s Garden Initiative, and broke ground on what will be a certified organic vegetable garden at the USDA’s headquarters in Washington, DC. The garden will be directly adjacent to the USDA Farmers Market, which is on Wednesdays, one block from the National Mall. In an inaugural meeting of the USDA People’s Garden Partnership Forum, Sec. Vilsack said that the garden is in keeping with his vision of USDA as leader in sustainability– “sustainable farms, sustainable diets, and sustainable rural economies.”

State Farmers Market Association Survey Highlights

FMC

Earlier this year, FMC surveyed 26 state farmers market associations (FMAs) to better understand how they are structured, what they do, how they do it, and what they need to do it better. This was the first opportunity FMC had to formally survey this group, building upon a 2006 study conducted by Project for Public Spaces, and the results were telling. According to the survey, while FMAs are growing in number and emerging as valuable service providers across the country, they infrequently engage in networking and professional development opportunities that would enable them to effectively support their thousands of member markets and producers.

Letting Customers’ Fingers Do The Walking: On-line Farmers Market Directories

Stacy

Think of them as national online yellow pages for local food and farmers markets. The USDA National Directory of Farmers Markets and LocalHarvest.Org are the two biggest national directories of farmers markets and direct sales small farms. Now is the time to make sure your market information is listed and up to date on both…

FMC Pilots Educational Sponsorships in Three States

Stacy

As part of its goal to support the efforts of state farmers market organizations, FMC recently offered small sponsorships to three of its members holding statewide training events. Pending future available funding, FMC plans to continue and expand its support of such educational trainings in 2009. What follows is a brief summary of the events receiving mini-grants so far this year.