July 13, 2011
On Tuesday, July 12, USDA announced the twenty-five recipients of its Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP) grants. FSMIP will match $1.3 million worth of state grants to assist in exploring new market opportunities for U.S. agricultural products.
FSMIP provides funds to state departments of agriculture or other similar state agencies to develop innovative approaches for marketing agricultural products. The grants can be used to conduct research projects in collaboration with nonprofit organizations, community, or producer groups that solve practical marketing problems including those facing small and medium-scale farmers.
“FSMIP provides our state partners with matching funds to explore new and innovative approaches to marketing U.S. food and agricultural products,” said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. “USDA supports state and local projects ranging from research to retail to ensure that quality American products are marketed efficiently and effectively.”
NSAC is pleased to announce that several of its members are among this year’s award recipients. Congratulations to each of them!
Connecticut Northeast Organic Farming Association and CitySeed are working in cooperation with the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, Connecticut Farm Bureau, and University of Connecticut to improve their BuyCTGrown website in order to increase capacity for local food retail and wholesale sourcing.
The New York branch of the Northeast Organic Farming Association will work with its state Department of Agriculture and Markets, Cornell Extension Service, Central New York Bounty, the New York Small Scale Food Processors Association and University of Illinois Extension to educate bed and breakfast operators about opportunities to feature locally produced food and agricultural products in meals served to their guests, and to measure the economic impact on producers of sales made through this specialized marketing channel.
Many other projects also supported local and regional food system development.
Crescent City Farmers Markets of Louisiana will participate in a project out of Louisiana State University to assess the potential for local produce and fish in school meal programs and work with producers in meeting new marketing opportunities.
The Georgia Department of Agriculture will work with Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies to increase utilization of farmers’ markets and implement new distribution strategies to meet growing demand for local produce.
The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources will work with the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy to explore ways to move local food products from direct and wholesale markets into inner-city corner stores.
The University of Missouri will survey Missouri consumers and retailers about their preferences and willingness to pay for locally produced artisan cheese in order to foster development of the specialty dairy sector.
The Wyoming Department of Agriculture and the Wyoming Rural Development Council will work together to increase quantity and variety of local agricultural products in Wyoming schools.