Good News in President’s Proposed 2011 USDA Budget

On February 1st, President Obama issued a $3.8 trillion budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2011 on Monday, in which the White House allocates $149 billion for USDA.
years. While his proposed FY 2011 budget actually decreases the overall amount of discretionary spending available to USDA, it also prioritizes a number of new initiatives in line with the goals of the Know your Farmer, Know your Food initiative.

Good News in President's Proposed 2011 USDA Budget

On February 1st, President Obama issued a $3.8 trillion budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2011 on Monday, in which the White House allocates $149 billion for USDA.
years. While his proposed FY 2011 budget actually decreases the overall amount of discretionary spending available to USDA, it also prioritizes a number of new initiatives in line with the goals of the Know your Farmer, Know your Food initiative.

New Farmers Market Manager Training Manual from FMFNY

With funding from a three-year SARE Professional Development grant, the Farmers’ Market Federation of New York used market experiences and research to develop an innovative new “Farmers Market Manager Training Manual.”

SSAWG Farmers Market Pre-Conference a Success

On January 20-21, the Wallace Center at Winrock International, the Farmers Market Coalition, and the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) collaborated to host a short course for farmers market managers as a pre-conference to SSAWG’s 19th annual “Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms” event.

FMC Gives USDA WIC CVV Rule Recommendations

In response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s WIC Food Package Interim Rule, the Farmers Market Coalition Policy Committee issued a letter to the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, recommending changes specific to the new WIC Cash Value Voucher (CVV). The letter contains five main points.

What’s In A Name? Protecting Farmers Market Integrity through a Common Definition

One of the first issues that Farmers Market Coalition (FMC) members asked the organization to look at after FMC’s incorporation in 2006 was the definition of the term ‘farmers market.’ Then, as now, the use of the term (with or without an apostrophe) is coveted from marketing and public image perspectives and is not always used with sufficient integrity or in the best interest of family farms.

Defining and Defending a Producer-Only Market

One of the most challenging aspects of running a market can be defining and enforcing a producer-only market policy. This winter, FMC dove into the often murky and controversial waters of producer-only market enforcement on behalf of its market managing readers in search of the answers to a few frequently asked questions: What does it mean to be a producer-only market? Should producer-only markets be advertised as such? What problems can a producer-only market expect to encounter? And lastly——are there any good solutions to these problems?

Chasing the Coveted (c)(3): The Trials and Tribulations of Form 1023

Obtaining 501(c)(3) exemption status from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may be one of the most effective ways to open doors for your farmers market— 501(c)(3) status holders have been known to wax poetic about how their exemption has increased their credibility and widened their access to funding from foundations and federal grants. However, as useful as 501(c)(3) status may be, there is no doubt that obtaining it can also be one of the most frustrating and challenging pursuits undertaken by farmers market managers and board members. Here, the Farmers Market Coalition answers a few of its most frequently asked questions about farmers markets and 501(c)(3) status.

FMC Awards Nine Educational Mini-Grants to Farmers Market Associations

This winter, the Farmers Market Coalition awarded mini-grants of $500 each to support educational events for farmers market managers and producers in early 2010. Take a look at our nine very deserving grant recipients, and the unique events their awards will support:

USDA Update: Getting to Know ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’

In September 2009, the USDA launched Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food: a USDA-wide effort to better connect consumers with sustainable local producers and spark a nationwide conversation about the importance of understanding where food comes from. Since then, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced Farm-to-School tactical teams that will tour American schools to evaluate how they might transition to purchasing local food, awarded $4.8 million to community food projects, and held a Facebook chat to expand conversation on local food systems.