After reading through the thumbnails on the USDA site a few times (and they are added at the end of this post), you’ll find some of my takeaways on this round of successful grants. I combed through this list a few times, and did my best to collect data correctly (!) but do realize my numbers are not precise and may be off since I just took the data from the summaries listed.
USDA expected to fund around 190 with this round of funding and, by their count, ended up funding 163 projects.
47 states, districts and territories are represented.
California has the largest number of grants with 14 (one was listed with KS projects)
The majority of the proposals focus on simple marketing and outreach for markets. Here are the grants that specifically mention one of the following:
- EBT/SNAP/benefit programs: 44
- Farmer Training: 47 (“Peer-to-peer”: 2)
- Agritourism: 15
- GAP training: 5
- Storage for farmers: 4
- Food trucks: 1
- Mobile Markets: 17
- CSA/Market Box/Farm Stands: 20
- Online purchasing system: 6
- Mobile app: 3
- Food Hubs: 2
- New market development: 16
- Market relocation: 3
- 501 (c) application: 2
- Analysis/data collection/measurement strategies: 13
- Network development/support: 16 (New FM associations: 2)
- Additional staffing: 7 (internship program development: 3)
- Market manager certification program: 1
- Bilingual materials: 7
- Transportation to market: 3
- Curriculum: 4
- Cooking demos or classes: 29
- Kids events: 10 (POP: 2)
Some other odds and ends of creativity to share that showed up at least once: inclement weather supplies for shoppers and vendors, SNAP advisory committee made up of SNAP recipients, a road show that will highlight regional farmers via traveling through region, DRIVE (Demo, Ride, Incentivize, Vary, Eat) and FORAGE (Food Oases’ Role to Advance and Generate Economies), door-to-door outreach, meal-kit CSAs, online discussions, a Latino ambassador program, expanding shoulder season products (early Spring and Fall), a pre-purchase system that allows for the use of (SNAP) benefits, a financial analysis to review market budgets, creating easy-to-use fillable templates for managers, direct mail campaign regarding artisan meats, a partnership with library to offer educational opportunities for vendors and consumers, culturally-appropriate public service announcements, TANF workforce assistance in production, WiFi addition, assessing agritourism readiness, a farm-to-work week, technical support for U.S. Veterans to become farm entrepreneurs, best practices of university farmers’ markets.
Some specific outcomes written into the description: fresh produce and healthy living cooking experiences to 100 neighborhoods, strategic community development action plans for each FMNP market county, two new retail options (pop-up markets), three thriving, community-run farm stands, extending the farmers’ market to year-round, a financially self-sufficient farmers’ market, eight new points-of-sale, collaboration between fifteen Latino owned farm enterprises and five local farmers and three local food businesses.
wow. I wish everyone good luck in this round of funding and will look forward to reading the results.
Awards List, listed by state