Thursday, October 4, 2007

Missouri Awarded More Than $70,000 in funds

The USDA announced 23 grants totaling $900,000 under the Farmers Market Promotion Program recently. The awards will aid local governments, nonprofit and economic development corporations and agricultural cooperatives in 16 states and the District of Columbia, including Missouri. Funds will support projects that establish, expand and promote farmers markets and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities.

The Farmers Market Promotion Program is designed to provide assistance to local farmers markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture in an effort to increase domestic consumption of agricultural commodities and improve farmers' income. The grants are authorized under the amended Farmer-to-Consumer Direct Marketing Act of 1976.

Of the grant funds Missouri will receive $70,150 to Top of the Ozarks Resource Conservation & Development, Inc., Houston, Mo., to assess the needs of 12 farmers markets in 10 South Central Missouri counties; determine how to best meet these needs; and improve visibility of the markets through advertising, product mix, infrastructure improvements, vendor training and communication.

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