The last day to submit applications for the 2007 Farmers Market Promotion Grants is tomorrow (Friday). Mike Heavrin with the Center for Rural Affairs says there are thousands of dollars available to communities that want to either start a farmers market or spruce up the one they have.
Time is getting short for communities who want part of the one million dollars the federal government will be handing out this year to start, improve or expand farmers markets. Mike Heavrin with the Center for Rural Affairs says the deadline is Friday, April 13, 2007 so applicants need to sign up directly on the USDA’s website. Hearvin says this money is perfect for communities interested in starting up a direct producer to consumer market.
“It covers a lot of start up costs that would be associated. Usually after the first year people expect farmers markets to return so that first year it’s important to get the word out that you are having a farmers market,” said Heavrin.
Heavrin says farmers markets are good for communities by bringing farmers and consumers together and today consumers are more aware of food safety.
“They’re becoming more and more popular as people become more aware that their food supplies are at risk. They prefer to buy locally,” Heavrin added.
Heavrin says those eligible to apply include agricultural cooperatives, local governments, nonprofit corporations, public health corporations, economic development corporations, regional farmers’ market authorities and Tribal governments.