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USDA Solicits Applications for Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program

February 8, 2012

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has announced this year’s request for Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP) proposals.  FSMIP promotes research projects that advance the marketing, distribution, and transportation of U.S. agricultural products both domestically and internationally.  Under this program, USDA matches grant funds for qualified state agencies such as state departments of agriculture and  state agricultural experiment stations.  The agencies, in turn, can work with other partners, including non-governmental organizations, on specific projects.

“We’re especially interested in proposals that involve collaboration among states, academia, producers and other stakeholders, and have state, multi-state or national significance,” says Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan.

According to the FY 2012 Application Guidelines, USDA also encourages research proposals involving direct marketing, value-added production,  and local food system development, especially those that stimulate rural economies.

Approximately $1.2 million for 25 grants is available for FY 2012.  Grants typically average $50,000, though USDA has funded proposals ranging from $11,000 to $135,000.  Interested parties can consult the list of previously funded projects, such as those found below:

  • Louisiana – $30,511 to Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, in cooperation with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Crescent City Farmers Markets, Louisiana State University Sea Grant programs and Orleans Parish Firstline Schools, to survey school lunch directors in pilot parishes to determine demand for locally produced agricultural and fishery products, assess the capacity of local farmers and fishermen to fulfill the demand, and train local producers to identify new institutional and direct marketing opportunities.
  • Michigan – $113,351 to Michigan State University to develop and test a comprehensive beef traceability model that could be implemented by Michigan beef producers, processors, retailers, and food service operators.
  • Texas – $35,000 to Sam Houston State University to expand products marketed through farmers’ markets from socially disadvantaged groups through business planning and marketing workshops.

The application deadline is Friday, March 23, 2012.

For further information contact Janise Zygmont at USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service at 202-720-5024 or janise.zygmont@ams.usda.gov.

Categories: Grants and Programs, Local & Regional Food Systems, Research, Education & Extension

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