April 5, 2012
On April 6, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will publish the 2012 Notice of Funds Available (NOFA) for the Farmers’ Market Promotion Program (FMPP) in the Federal Register.
For 2012, $10 million dollars in competitive grant funds are available for projects that expand direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities. Grant funds may be used for the establishment of new or expansion of existing farmers’ markets, community-supported agriculture programs, roadside stands and agri-tourism activities, to name a few.
As with the 2011 awards, the 2012 funding includes a priority for projects that expand access to healthy foods in food deserts and low-income communities (20 percent poverty rate and higher). To determine if a project is located in a food desert, visit this AMS food desert website. To check poverty rate data, check this Economic Research Service poverty rate website.
The minimum 10 percent set-aside of FMPP for new Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) projects to expand access to SNAP consumer participation at direct marketing outlets remains in 2012. Separate applications are required for proposals that contain EBT project activities and non-EBT project activities.
The minimum per grant award is $5,000 and the maximum is $100,000.
The deadline to apply for FMPP funds is May 21, 2012. Note that for the first time, all applications must submitted via www.grants.gov. No applications will be accepted by mail, hand delivery, fax, or e-mail.
Guidelines, application instructions, and the mailing address can be found on the AMS FMPP website.
To assist FMPP applicants, NSAC member the Farmers Market Coalition will host a webinar on April 17, 2012: “Winning Grants with Logic Models: Improve Project Management and Evaluate Success.”
NSAC’s Grassroots Guide to the 2008 Farm Bill provides basic information about FMPP, contact information for program staff, and examples of previous FMPP grant recipients. You can also visit the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass to explore previous FMPP projects.
FMPP was conceptualized and developed by NSAC and championed in the past two farm bills by then Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Tom Harkin (D-IA).