USDA Grants Available to Plan, Implement Farmers Markets

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting grant applications for its Farmers Market Promotion Program and Local Food Promotion Program to support local and regional food systems. Applications for both competitive grants are due May 14.

The Farmers Market Promotion Program grants fund farmer-to-consumer direct marketing projects such as farmers markets, community-supported agriculture programs, roadside stands, and agritourism.

The Local Food Promotion Program grants fund local and regional food business enterprises that serve as intermediaries to process, distribute, aggregate, and store locally or regionally produced food projects. Projects also provide technical assistance and outreach, including planning grants for local food businesses.

The 2014 Farm Bill provides $30 million in funding through fiscal years 2014-2018-approximately $15 million for the Farmers Market Promotion Program and approximately $15 million for the Local Food Promotion Program.

To aid with the grant application process, USDA hosted in-person grant writing workshops in each state, and is providing additional tools and materials through the Agricultural Marketing Service Technical Assistance website. Workshops focused on effective grant-writing practices, with an emphasis on USDA's Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Programs. Click here for more information on these workshops and access to the additional resources.

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