Saturday, February 16, 2013

the market beet

quarterly newsletter of the Farmers Market Coalition (also on Facebook), Winter 2013…just in time for today's Mountainair Farm & Garden Market meeting, 2 pm at Ancient Cities. Learn more about New Mexico Farmers Markets on the association's website. There is now a blog and a newsletter subscription form, suggesting (one hopes) that publication has resumed. I subscribed and will let you know. You can also learn about NM farmers markets by real and virtual visits to individual markets. Follow (or at least visit) NM Farmers Market, the Coalition and the #farmersmarket tag on Twitter for even more information.

A letter from Jen O'Brien, Interim Executive Director, FMC

Here we are in the dead of winter, but there's no off-season in sight. Despite the plummeting temperatures and record snow storms, the farmers market community is as busy as ever. This year, the USDA reported that the National Farmers Market Directory saw a 52 percent increase in winter listings. Additionally, the FMC listserv has been buzzing with questions from market managers, vendors and volunteers who are busy preparing for winter conferences, reviewing policy proposals, searching for funding opportunities, and revising market governance documents.

The past months have also been brimming with federal policy activity, and FMC has been working closely with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) to ensure that the best interests of farmers markets are taken into account during farm bill negotiations, appropriations, and the release of new food safety rules. Here's an update on FMC advocacy initiatives in the works:

Accessing SNAP Grant Funds for Farmers Markets
by Jan Walters, Jan Walters' Consulting Services, LLC, Farmers Market Coalition Board of Directors
New USDA grant funding of $4 million is intended for the purchase or rental of a wireless device and related SNAP fees for markets certified to accept SNAP as of November 18, 2011 or later...USDA has authorized that the devices purchased or rented with federal funds could accept commercial debit/credit cards. This additional income stream could be beneficial for the markets and farmers...

Winter Conferences are Underway!
Farmers Market Coalition's event page is taking submissions for farmers market conferences and trainings. To find an event in your region visit our event page, to submit an event, email us!

More than 200 organizations participate in Farmers Market Promotion Program Grantee Survey
by Stacy Miller, Project Director
Farmers Market Coalition (FMC) launched a survey on October 10th to assess and communicate the impacts of the FMPP since its inception in 2006. "The sheer quantity of thoughtful comments is evidence of the degree FMPP grantees feel invested in their projects, and how committed they are to helping improve the program for the benefit of other eligible organizations."

FMC Webinars
Missed our most recent webinar, The Power of POP? You can view it, and resources, in our webinar archives.
On March 13, Stacy Miller, FMC Project Director, will join us  to share some results of the FMPP survey and explain how you can be a part of the effort to tell FMPP's story and share its innovations.

View upcoming webinars and archives. 

SNAP Sales at Farmers Markets Increase 42% from 2011 to 2012
by Natalie Roper, FMC Research & Education Intern, and Stacy Miller, Project Director
Evidence is growing that farmers markets are effective at increasing food access to underserved populations around the country. Here we explore 2012's growth in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) sales at farmers markets and take a preliminary look at how new USDA Food and Nutrition Service funding for SNAP at farmers markets is providing opportunities.

Thank You
Thank you to those who donated during our end of year campaign, and congratulations to the Historic Lewes Farmers Market in Delaware, winner of our grand prize of a shade tent, awning kit, and weight bags courtesy of Canopies by Fred.

City of Foley in Alabama and the Oberlin Farmers Market in Louisiana both won $100 gift certificates for Bogs Footwear! A big thank you to Bogs Footwear and Canopies by Fred for their generous gifts!

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