Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced Thursday that the Agriculture Department is seeking grant applicants for the 2012 Farmers Market Promotion Program.
Approximately $10 million is available for marketing operations such as farmers’ markets, community supported agriculture, and road-side stands. The grants, which are administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, are available through a competitive application process on www.grants.gov. The grants aim to increase the availability of local agricultural products in communities throughout the county. They will also help strengthen farmer-to-consumer marketing efforts.
Projects that expand healthy food choices in food deserts or low-income areas (where the percentage of the population living in poverty is 20 percent or above) will receive additional consideration. USDA, in coordination with the Treasury and Health and Human Services Departments, seeks to increase access to fresh, healthy and affordable food choices for all Americans, while expanding market opportunities for farmers and ranchers.
“These grants will put resources into rural and urban economies, and help strengthen efforts to provide access to nutritious and affordable foods,” said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. “This program not only supports the health and well-being of local communities but also the economic health of their farms and businesses.”
More information surrounding these grants, and more details about the application process can be found on the USDA website.