January 19, 2011
On Wednesday, January 19, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service issued proposed rules for the Farmers’ Market Promotion Program (FMPP).
The FMPP is a competitive grants program that makes federal funds available for projects to establish, expand, and promote farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture, internet sales, agritourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer marketing opportunities.
The FMPP was developed by NSAC and authorized by Congress in the 2002 Farm Bill, with $33 million in mandatory funding provided by Congress in the 2008 Farm Bill for fiscal years 2008-2012. The program has operated to date via Notices of Funding Availabilities NOFAs) without a formal regulation.
The proposed rule, which follows closely the requirements of preceding NOFAs, is published in the Federal Register. Public comments on the proposal are due no later than March 21.
Additional AMS information about the program is available here.
Entities eligible for FMPP grants include farm coops, farmer associations and networks, local government, non-profit organizations, public benefit and economic development corporations, farmers’ market authorities, and tribes. About two-thirds of all grants to date have been made to non-profit organizations.
Grants can be made to expand or improve existing markets or develop new ones.
The proposed rule would formally establish eligibility and application requirements, the review and approval process, and grant administration procedures for the FMPP. NSAC will be submitting comments on the rule at a later date.