Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Calling All Markets

Today, we are in the middle of a huge mailing to all Missouri Farmer’s Market Masters with exciting news.

First, the packet includes an informational brochure about the upcoming 2008 Farmers’ Market Workshops and the registration form that must be mailed back to the MDA. We have already received some registration forms for the workshops.

Second, as part of the Missouri Specialty Crop Block Grant the MDA will be purchasing 19 EBT/ Debit Wireless Machines that will be distributed to chosen markets. The MDA is currently identifying which markets across the state will be eligible to receive the wireless devices. Eligible markets will be chosen through scoring on a Missouri EBT Market Criteria Form that scores markets on subjects such as: city population, unemployment rate, market experience, food stamp participation and funding.

There are only 19 wireless machines available, therefore only the 19 markets that score the highest on the Criteria Form and write a letter that states the market’s commitment to the MDA will receive a machine. Only one machine per market.

To apply for an EBT/Debit Wireless Machine Market Must (all this information will be included in the mailing):
1.) Fill out the Missouri Dept. of Agriculture EBT Market Project Criteria Form (included in packet)
2.) Mail back the completed form, along with a letter indicating that your market understands:
That the market is responsible for paying monthly transactions and the market will purchase the tokens to take EBT payments.
The market will focus on promoting the availability of the EBT/Debit machines within its local community, including lower income areas.
The market will plan to become certified by the USDA if chosen to receive a wireless device.
The benefits your market will receive by receiving one of the EBT machines.
3.) All forms and letters are to be postmarked by Jan. 31, 2008

If you have any questions regarding how to apply or how to become USDA certified please contact Lane McConnell, MDA Marketing Specialist at 573-526-4984 or via email: Lane.McConnell@mda.mo.gov.

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