Farmers markets get a mixed bag in House Draft Farm Bill

Stacy July 8, 2012

The House Agriculture Committee is scheduled to conduct a mark-up of the FARRM Act beginning July 11th. FMC will be communicating with its members leading up to the mark-up process about potential amendments and suggested recommendations that address areas of concern to farmers markets. In addition, FMC and its allies will be working with members in conference committee to resolve concerns over administrative caps on FMC’s priority programs.

Farmers Market Coalition Applauds Bipartisan Leadership on Senate Farm Bill

Jen O'Brien June 22, 2012

June 22, 2012 – Charlottesville, VA On Thursday, June 21st , the Senate passed the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act (ARFJA) with a 64-35 vote, after considering several dozen proposed amendments to the bill.  The Farmers Market Coalition commends the bipartisan commitment to healthy debate and effective action on long-needed steps to reform and…

FMC Collaborates with the University of Virginia to Host First Ever Course on Farmers Market Research

Jen O'Brien June 11, 2012

Since the beginning of this year, the Farmers Market Coalition has been working with instructors at the University of Virginia to plan the syllabus, reading, and assignments, of a ten day course devoted to teaching students about farmers market research. Between May 29th and June 8th, this work came to fruition, with speakers coming in…

Markets don’t ‘just happen.’ Neither does FMC.

Liz Comiskey May 30, 2012

No matter where you live, you’re probably not far from a farmers market that supports a growing, vibrant, and just local food economy. My local market in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is part of the Gulf Coast region, where most of our farmers grow 52 weeks a year. And as one of our dairy farmers reminds…

Join me: Grow more local food champions, incubate new economies

Liz Comiskey May 23, 2012

Early every Saturday morning, the Food Ventures Center at the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks is abuzz with food and farm entrepreneurs packing up to sell at the Athens Farmers Market. Bakers are bagging and loading fresh bread straight off the cooling racks, livestock farmers are loading up their coolers with pastured meat products, the…

Farmers Market Coalition Announces Partnership with 1% for the Planet

Stacy May 18, 2012

As a newly approved 1% partner, FMC contributes to a healthier planet by strengthening the growing number of farmers markets in the United States, fostering a community of practice for grassroots organizations dedicated to supporting local agriculture and educating communities about food, farming, and sustainability.

Make Sure Your Farmers Market Gets on the Map

Stacy May 17, 2012

USDA is incorporating the directory database into its next round of GIS mapping applications on local and regional food systems as part of the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass. And researchers, community planners, public health officials and other stakeholders use the information listed in the directory as an input for further analysis of business development, food distribution and food access issues about local markets, and more.

Farmers market community saves farm after natural disaster

Liz Comiskey May 16, 2012

This past Friday, I had the privilege to welcome back a  farmer to one of our markets.  This was a  gentleman whose farm sustained nearly 90% crop loss in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene last fall. At the end of last season, we weren’t sure if he would return to market– not just for this…

USDA announces 2012 support for SNAP in farmers markets, issues memorandum on state allocations

Stacy May 9, 2012

The $4 million is being distributed to states using an allocation formula based on the number of markets not accepting SNAP at present. In a memorandum to Regional SNAP and Field Operations Offices, the Food and Nutrition Service explains that allowable costs for the funds (covered at 100%) include the purchase or lease of wireless POS equipment and monthly wireless access fees associated with using that equipment. “States may choose to provide wireless POS equipment that also accepts commercial credit and debit cards, without being required to cost-allocate the cost of equipment or its flat monthly service fees,” provided that markets themselves bear the cost of debit or credit transaction fees unrelated to SNAP wireless access.

How I fell in love with farmers markets

Stacy

Since that time I have gone on to become the full time Market Manager of Portland Farmers Market in Portland, Oregon. Each market day, I am reminded of why I fell for farmers markets in the first place. Some of my favorite market scenes take place even before the market opens: vendors unloading their trucks, early shoppers and chefs looking over produce in anticipation of our opening bell, a rancher with a whole spring lamb slung over his shoulder, vendors lending a hand for late arriving neighbors, the eight year old daughter of a flower grower delivering a monstrous bouquet, seemingly larger than herself, to our market info booth…and the list goes on.