FMC & USDA Launch “Markets Are Up!”

In anticipation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 10th annual National Farmers Market Week (August 2-8, 2009), the Farmers Market Coalition (FMC), in cooperation with USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), announces Markets Are Up!, an educational and celebratory campaign to help farmers markets and farmers market associations nationwide communicate the vital role that such markets play in improving consumer health, local communities, and economies. As part of the Markets are Up! campaign, promotional tools such as ads, postcards, and templates for press releases and emails are now available on FMC’s website.

FMC & USDA Launch "Markets Are Up!"

In anticipation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 10th annual National Farmers Market Week (August 2-8, 2009), the Farmers Market Coalition (FMC), in cooperation with USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), announces Markets Are Up!, an educational and celebratory campaign to help farmers markets and farmers market associations nationwide communicate the vital role that such markets play in improving consumer health, local communities, and economies. As part of the Markets are Up! campaign, promotional tools such as ads, postcards, and templates for press releases and emails are now available on FMC’s website.

New York First State to Accept WIC (CVV) Checks at Farmers Markets

WIC checks now accepted for fresh produce at New York farmers’ markets

ALBANY – Participants in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program can now use their monthly checks at New York farmers’ markets to purchase eligible fresh produce. New York is the first state in the nation to allow the use of WIC checks for fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets.

Direct-to-Consumer Marketing Growing Faster Than Total Agricultural Sales

A new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) shows direct-to-consumer farm marketing in the United States is growing faster than total agricultural sales—the two categories increased 104.7 percent and 47.6 percent, respectively, from 1997 to 2007.

USDA Publishes Market Manager Survey Results

The large percentage of young markets explains in part why the growth in the number of farmers markets is not
mirrored by a corresponding growth in sales. Total farmers market sales in 2005 are estimated to have slightly
exceeded $1 billion, compared with $888 million in 2000, an average annual growth rate of 2.5 percent. To

Ag Secretary Vilsack Opens 2009 USDA Farmers Market Season

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today opened the 14th season of the USDA Farmers Market season with a ceremony at USDA Headquarters. The USDA Farmers Market features farmers from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia selling their locally grown produce and other items. The market is open to the public and will operate every Friday through October, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at USDA Headquarters on 12th St. and Independence Ave. SW, Washington, D.C.

USDA Announces Specialty Crop Block Grant Fund Availability

PLEASE NOTE: This year, in an effort make sure that federal funds were having the intended effect of promoting specialty crops (fruits, vegetables, herbs, etc.), the Specialty Crop Block Grant program funds can be used “solely” to promote specialty crops, which USDA defines here. FMC fully supports state department of agriculture use of SCBG funds for farmers markets… but please be aware that, moreso than in past years, these federal funds can only be used for programs which promote defined specialty crops, not just farmers markets generally.

New York State Announces Farmers Market Grant Program

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker has announced the release of the Farmers’ Markets Grant Program Request for Proposals (RFP). This grant program provides up to $25,000 in matching funds for the construction, reconstruction, improvement, expansion, or rehabilitation of farmers’ markets in New York State.

Growing For Market Offers Special Edition for FMC Members

Next month, the great folks at Growing for Market will be publishing a new special Farmers Market Edition, and are offering copies to any FMC member to distribute producers for FREE!

FMC to Host Strategic Planning Webinar June 9th

Drawing on real life examples from farmers markets and related organizations, two leaders — strategic thinker Nicole de Beaufort and President of the Oregon Farmers’ Market Association Karen Wagner — will discuss how to identify the key strategic planning questions and prioritize objectives that serve to focus and clarify the work of organizations old and new. Participation is open to board members as well as organization staff.