USDA Announces FSMIP Funds for 2010

      Posted On: December 17, 2009

On Tuesday, December 15, the U.S. Department of Agriculture invited state departments of agriculture, state agricultural experiment stations and other state agencies to submit proposals that help market, transport and distribute American food for funding through the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP).

The FSMIP is a matching grant program administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service, with funds allocated on the basis of one round of competition. USDA is particularly interested in proposals that involve collaboration among the states, academia, producers and other stakeholders and in proposals that have state, regional or national significance. Federal funds awarded to any project must be matched by non-federal funds or in-kind resources.

FSMIP could be a promising funding opportunity for farmers market programs. In her announcement on the grant program, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan emphasized the importance of strengthening local food systems and direct marketing outlets for farmers, saying, “This program is a great way for state agencies to tackle some of the distribution and market issues our farmers are facing. We hope to see many proposals that reflect USDA’s ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ initiative, projects that will help create wealth in rural communities through the development of local and regional food systems and value-added agriculture, and that develop direct marketing opportunities for producers or producer groups.”

Encouragingly, Undersecretary for Marketing Edward Avalos also highlighted the creativity and flexibility of the program, noting that there are “endless possibilities for creative projects, such as increasing consumption of locally produced foods in hospitals or to exploring opportunities for sales of locally grown and processed products in school vending machines.”

States interested in applying for FSMIP funds may submit proposals to FSMIP Staff Officer, USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service, 1800 M Street, NW, Room 3002-South Tower, Washington, D.C. 20036, or call (202) 694-4002. Program guidelines, application forms and other related information are posted on the Internet at Applicants have the option of submitting their applications through the federal grants web site: The deadline for submitting applications is Feb. 10, 2010.