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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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USDA Grants to Increase Farmers Market Participation in SNAP

May 9, 2012 |

USDA National Program for Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency in Beef CattleNews Release – WASHINGTON, May 9, 2012 — Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced awards to help States expand availability of wireless technology in farmers’ markets not currently participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The $4 million in funding provides SNAP participants greater access to fresh and healthy food, while supporting American farmers and local economies. Read More

North Carolina Project Will Use Bicycles to Deliver Fresh Produce from Farmers’ Markets

May 7, 2012 |

News Release – (Goldsboro, NC) U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon will be on hand in Goldsboro Wednesday for the launch of an innovative program designed to get fresh, local produce into city neighborhoods with limited access to fresh food.

The kickoff event will be held May 9 at 12 noon at the City Market in Herman Park on Herman Street in Goldsboro. The event will feature singing by Dillard Academy Charter School’s veggie chorus, cooking demonstrations and special give-a-ways. Other special guests will include Goldsboro officials, community partners and former N.C. Congresswoman Eva Clayton. Read More

Problem Solving and Business Savvy Fuel Growth of 45-acre Sustainable Organic Farm in Rhode Island

April 6, 2012 |

The monument to the Rhode Island Red chicken speaks volumes. Not found in Idaho, Florida, California or other agricultural superpower states, the bronze plaque mounted on granite is located in Adamsville, a small village in Little Compton, Rhode Island. The Rhode Island Red, which originated in Little Compton, is so highly regarded in fact that one black-breasted rooster said to be a foundation sire is stuffed and on display at the Smithsonian Institution. That Little Compton, a peninsula located in the nation’s smallest state, produced such an exemplary egg layer may surprise some but likely not those familiar with Little Compton’s Wishing Stone Farm. Owned and operated by husband and wife team Liz Peckham and Skip Paul, Wishing Stone Farm is a highly productive 45 acre sustainable farm situated on that same sea stroked neck of land. Read More

USDA to Distribute $10 Million in Grants for 2012 Farmers Market Promotion Program

April 5, 2012 |

USDA National Program for Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency in Beef CattleNews Release – WASHINGTON, April 5, 2012 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking grant applicants for the 2012 Farmers Market Promotion Program.

Approximately $10 million is available for marketing operations such as farmers markets, community supported agriculture and road-side stands. Read More

Hosting the Market — Tips for Farmers Market Managers

March 15, 2012 |

It’s March and spring is just around the corner. As communities begin to thaw out, and regional farmers markets prepare to start offering their first spring crops, it’s a great time for farmers’ market managers to start planning their season. Farmers already have a lot to do, and market managers can play an important role in unifying and promoting the market.

It’s no secret that farmers markets are becoming more and more popular. According to the USDA, as of mid-2011, there were 7,175 farmers markets operating across the US. This is an increase of 17% from 2010. A new local food system is growing, but it needs a boost of more robust marketing and promotion to compete with the industrial food system. Many market managers come to the job through a love of food and farming and a desire to be part of a new food movement. Read More