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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Posts By Julianne Tveten

Few Illinois Farmers’ Markets Equipped to Accept EBT, Study Finds

July 2, 2015 |

 

by Julianne Tveten

 Information is entered into an EBT payment processor after the card is swiped.  Credit: Illinois Farmers Market Association

Information is entered into an EBT payment processor after the card is swiped.
Credit: Illinois Farmers Market Association

On the USDA website, a search tool allows users to search for locations that accept payments via electronic benefits transfer (EBT)–more colloquially known as food stamps. Type in any area in the U.S. — whether Salem, Fargo, or New York City–and you’re likely to find at least ten drugstores, supermarkets, delis, or convenience stores nearby that accept payment through EBT.

One type of food resource, however, is largely missing from the results: farmers’ markets.

According to the USDA, an estimated 70 to 75 percent of farmers’ markets throughout the country weren’t accepting EBT as of 2014. It’s a notable gap–and one that a team of researchers in Illinois seeks to bring to light. Read More

Baltimore Combats Food Deserts with Urban Farming Tax Break

May 27, 2015 |
RFF Hoop.jpg Caption: The hooped Real Food Farm in Baltimore, Maryland. Credit: Baltimore Office of Sustainability

RFF Hoop.jpg
Caption: The hooped Real Food Farm in Baltimore, Maryland.
Credit: Baltimore Office of Sustainability

Urban farmers in the city of Baltimore will soon qualify for a 90 percent property tax break under a bill recently approved by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. The move, which is the latest in a series of tax-break initiatives for city growers seen in areas like San Francisco and Washington, D.C., is intended to bolster local production of healthy food.

Drafted by Councilman William “Pete” Welch, the bill, which will likely go into effect next month, gives a tax credit to farmers who make at least $5,000 per year selling crops and raise no more than five acres of land. Read More

Under Mayor’s Lead, Maine Town Takes Action Toward Food System Improvement

May 10, 2015 |
Locally-grown carrots from a farmers’ market in Portland, Maine.   Source: City of Portland, Maine

Locally-grown carrots from a farmers’ market in Portland, Maine.
Source: City of Portland, Maine

If there’s one unifying theme in the city of Portland, Maine, it’s food.

The city has one of the highest restaurant-per-capita rates in the United States. Situated on the Atlantic Coast, it harbors an intimate familiarity with edible seaweed, fish, and crustaceans. And, perhaps most important, it’s home to a growing local food movement, involving everyone from co-op founders to City Hall.

Situated on the Atlantic Coast, it harbors an intimate familiarity with edible seaweed, fish, and crustaceans. And, perhaps most important, it’s home to a growing local food movement, involving everyone from co-op founders to City Hall. Read More