As the saying goes, “if you eat, you’re involved in agriculture.” We aren’t just united; the production and consumption of food illustrates at the most fundamental level that urban and rural America need each other. According to numbers recently released by the USDA, Americans spend at least $8.7 billion annually at farmers markets, CSAs, farm-to-table restaurants and other direct-to-consumer outlets. Because farmers markets operate with lower overheads and fewer middlemen than most other types of food retailers, most of the revenue directly benefits the 167,000 American farmers and ranchers who sell directly to consumers.
The revenue stream that farmers markets provide farmers and ranchers is often the difference between making it and going out of business: according to the USDA, farmers who sell directly to consumers are more likely to stay in business than their neighbors who sell wholesale.
While it seems obvious, it bears pointing out that farms staying in business is good for rural communities. In a recent study of the fertile Sacramento region, which produces nearly $1 billion in agriculture revenue per year, a team of economists at the University of California, at Davis, discovered that, “for every dollar of sales, direct marketers are generating twice as much economic activity within the region, as compared to producers who are not involved in direct marketing.” The study goes on to reveal that for every $1 million in revenue, direct-market farms create almost 32 local jobs whereas larger wholesale growers create only 10.5.
So if you’re tired of hearing how divided our urban and rural citizens are, head to your local farmers market and experience first-hand where these two worlds meet and prosper. Continue reading here…
SNAP programs at farmers markets are making a difference across the country by increasing local agricultural revenue and introducing fresh produce to the plates of low-income families. Join us for our February 2nd webinar, which will cover equipment and outreach essentials, provide info about FMC’s Free SNAP EBT Equipment Program, and other outreach initiatives.
Trying to fund projects designed to strengthen market opportunities for local and regional food producers and businesses? Then the $27 million grants available through the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) may be your answer!
The request for applications has been made for the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program, which includes Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) and Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP), as well as the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP).
Applications are due Monday, March 27, 2017 and can be submitted through Grants.gov here.
Check out the full USDA press release for more information and webinar dates for potential applicants.
Up your market manager game and take on a Market Manager Certificate Program! The Michigan Farmers Market Assocaition (MIFMA) and the New York federation of Farmers Markets (NYFFM), offer these courses which hone and polish skills essential to running a thriving market. Learn more here.
The National Young Farmers Coalition is calling for participation in the 2017 NYFC survey that will inform citizens, policy makers, and advocates of the greatest issues young farmers face. NYFC wants to hear from all young or aspiring farmers.
Help ensure that the needs of young farmers are heard – take the survey today!
Prescott Farmers Market took over our Instagram mid month, offering glimpses of its 3 markets made possible by a dedicated staff, talented Arizona farmers, and loyal customers. Get to know the market with the tagline, "see your neighbors, meet your farmers, know your food."
Farmers Market Coalition membership offers market managers, farmers, consumers and supporters the opportunity to work collectively to strengthen farmers markets across the country. As a member, you have access to the programs and resources that FMC creates and collects, and to a network of thousands of like-minded individuals working to improve their local food system. FMC serves as the voice of famers markets in issues of federal and state policy, representing the interests of our members and supporters. Together, we can make farmers markets even better.
Farmers Market Coalition
PO Box 499
Kimberton, PA 19442