Summer is the Ideal Time to Sow FMPP Seeds
Posted On: July 20, 2008
Many readers are probably familiar with the Farmers Market Promotion Program, a competitive grant program administered by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service to assist in establishing, expanding, and promoting farmers markets and to promote direct producer-to-consumer marketing. In the past two years, limited funding for the program and a wealth of proposals has meant that only a small percentage could be funded in a given grant cycle.
If you haven’t paid attention to the nuances in the new Farm Bill, it might come as a welcome surprise that though only $1 million was announced for funding in 2008-2009, AMS will be able to award approximately $3 million to FMPP grantees this year. If you’ve submitted a proposal and are anxiously awaiting a decision on your project, sit tight. AMS reports that it will announce FMPP award selections by late September 2008, and funds will be made available to awardees beginning in October 2008. AMS received 225 proposals for funding this spring, down by 100 from the previous year. If those odds sound good, read ahead.
In the next funding cycle, $5 million will be available for FMPP grants, and proposals will be due in early spring. Stay tuned for the fall edition of Peas n’ News, where we will highlight these and other federal funding opportunities, along with some tips for proposal submission. In the meantime, those considering submitting a 2009 proposal can get an idea of what will be required by looking at the 2008 guidelines at www.ams.usda.gov/fmpp. Though spring seems a long way off, it can’t hurt to start sowing the seeds of success by jotting down ideas while the market season is in full swing. What else will germinate in the heat of August?