Over the last year the Association’s Board of Directors has been working diligently on ways to improve our communication and outreach to current members, ways to add value to the MFMA membership and steps to grow membership. Through monthly board meetings, conference calls and idea sharing we have come up with what we think are some positive and realistic goals that we would like to share with you.
The focus of our Association will be to support, inform and offer educational opportunities to the market managers throughout our State. Although we currently offer and will continue to offer support and information for all aspects of opening and operating a farmers market, our main focus will be on the managers role.
We aspire to reach our goals by offering our membership a variety of new programs, memberships and newsletter. We will be sending out monthly newsletters written by each of our board members. We are currently working on details in conjunction with the Missouri Department of Agriculture co-hosting regional trainings for various markets throughout the State. We hope to have more stories, pictures, recipes and testimonials from you our farmer’s market members. These items can be shared and posted on our MFMA Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
As many of you know, we currently offer a few different levels of MFMA membership, as well as a Missouri Farm Bureau liability insurance policy for markets that comes with a Missouri Farm Bureau membership. In addition, we now have a complimentary Association membership to the Farmers Market Coalition (value $40). We are a State Partner with Farmers Market Coalition (FMC), therefore now ALL of our member markets will receive a membership at no additional charge. You will be receiving more details on how to use all of the wonderful tools that FMC has to offer soon.
How many of you are aware of or use the “perks” that are available with your Missouri Farm Bureau membership? One of our board members has been enjoying significant savings on her market printing costs (30%) by utilizing the Office Depot business account discount that she gets from that membership. If you haven’t noticed it, we want to encourage you to use that Farm Bureau membership to its fullest.
In addition, don’t forget to register your market with the free AgriMissouri membership listing. You may also edit, add to and enhance your MFMA website listing. Please take advantage of the newest edition of the Farmers Market Handbook as it was recently edited and updated in collaboration with the Missouri Agriculture Department and MFMA Board of Directors. It is a valuable tool that can be used by any market, manager or entity that wants to start a market from the ground up to a market that has been around for years.
In the coming months, you will continue to hear from various board members sharing a variety of information. You will also be receiving more details about our 2019 annual conference.
We hope to hear from you, our members, letting us know what you might like to see our Association offer. What tools, educations, support and information would you like to have in your market basket?
Many thanks for all of the work you do. Here’s to a great market season.
Manager- Schlafly Farmers Market, Maplewood MO
Manager- Point Labaddie Farmers Market, Labadie, MO
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced nearly $89 million in available funding to strengthen local and regional food systems.
The Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program will split a total of $26 million in funding between the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) and the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP). FMPP helps fund direct farmer-to-consumer marketing activities through capacity building; and community development, training and technical assistance projects. LFPP projects require a 25 percent match and focus on planning and implementation of local and regional food intermediary supply chain development.
AMS will host one webinar for applicants of both FMPP and LFPP on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Applications for FMPP and LFPP must be submitted electronically through www.grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on May 7, 2018.
AMS will host a webinar to introduce potential applicants to the Grants.gov application process on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
Applicants are urged to start the grants.gov registration process as soon as possible to ensure that they meet the application deadline. Applicants are also encouraged to submit their application well in advance of the posted due date. Any grant application submitted after the due date will not be considered unless the applicant provides documentation of an extenuating circumstance that prevented their timely submission of the grant application. Read more in AMS Late and Non-Responsive Application Policy.
For more information about these programs, visit the AMS Grants & Opportunities web page and learn more about eligibility and grant uses at What AMS Grant is Right for Me?
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender