Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 9:48 EDT

PA Agriculture Department Invests $92,000 to Grow Farmers Markets, Specialty Crop Industry

February 23, 2012

HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Farm stands and farmers markets across Pennsylvania will share in $92,000 in federal grants to help expand their businesses and better connect consumers to nutritious, locally grown farm products, Agriculture Secretary George Greig announced today.

Thirty-one businesses in 22 counties received up to $7,500 in matching grant funds through the Direct Farm Sales Grant program, which is funded by the federal Specialty Crop Block Grant program authorized under the Farm Bill.

“Pennsylvania is home to an affordable, abundant and diverse food supply,” said Greig. “These grants will help connect our more than 63,000 farmers to the state’s 12.7 million consumers, boosting the sales of local agricultural products and the state’s economy.

“I encourage all Pennsylvanians to take advantage of the state’s more than 1,200 farmers markets, many of which are open year-round,” added Greig.

Recipients must provide at least 25 percent of the grant amount in matching or in-kind services. Grants may be used for the following purposes:

  • Promote an existing farm stand or farmers market through marketing materials, media outreach and advertising;
  • Pay costs associated with opening a new farm stand or farmers market, including site selection, demographic research, farmer recruitment and sales potential analysis;
  • Pay the cost of developing a business plan for a new farm stand or farmers market;
  • Produce nutrition education materials or educational materials about Pennsylvania farm products;
  • Purchase tables, stands and other display materials for use in a farm stand or farmers market;
  • Cover staffing costs to manage and operate a farm stand or farmers market;
  • Perform outreach to program participants to increase involvement in food assistance programs; and
  • Provide capital to farm stands or farmers markets to plant specialty crops.

For more information about the grant program, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us and search “Direct Farm Sales Grant.”

A searchable database of farmers markets and farm stands can be found at www.agriculture.state.pa.us by clicking on “Online Services,” then “Farm Markets and Farm Stands.”

Media contact: Nicole L. C. Bucher, 717-787-5085

Editor’s Note: Recipients of the Direct Farm Sales Grant are listed by county:

Pittsburgh Public Market – $3,500 for the “Back to Your Roots” project

Beaver County Farmers Market – $3,000 for the “Let’s Get the Word Out – The Sequel” project
Enon County Gardens – $2,000 for the “Out with the Old, In with the New” project

Weaver’s Orchard – $7,500 for education classes and the development of public education areas
Berks Agricultural Resource Network – $2,500 to promote specialty crop consumption at the Penn Street Market in Reading
Building a Better Boyertown – $1,000 to promote the Boyertown Farmers Market and boost specialty crop consumption

Bradford County Heritage Association – $2,000 to promote the Troy Farmers Market

Shady Brook at Flemings Inc. – $1,000 for a “buy local” project

Nev and Nise Produce Inc. – $2,000 to build market equity in Carbon County

Tait Farms Foods Inc. – $2,750 to create a farm stand and purchase a display cooler

Phoenixville Main Street Development Corporation – $4,000 to increase the visibility of the Phoenixville Farmers Market

Fairman Farms Market – $2,500 to purchase a display cooler

Strites Orchard – $3,000 for a specialty crop marketing campaign

Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation – $2,500 to promote specialty crop consumption at the Lansdowne Farmers Market
Wolff’s Apple House – $1,000 to promote the farm market and educate consumers about how to use locally grown produce

Goodell Gardens and Homestead – $2,000 for a Goodell Gardens Farmers Market project, “Helping Local Farmers Feed Our Community”
Hurry Hill Maple Farm – $5,000 to promote the farm stand

Indiana County Farmers Market – $1,690 to promote the market

Carbondale Technology Transfer Center – $2,750 to promote the expansion of the Carbondale Farmers Market

Venture Lititz – $3,750 to promote the Downtown Lititz Farmers Market and SNAP implementation program

Collegeville Economic Development Corporation – $4,000 to promote the Collegeville Farmers Market

Ferry Street Growers Market – $4,000 to promote the Ferry Street Growers Market

Bath Business and Community Partnership – $3,000 for a Bath Farmers Market specialty crops event
Nurture Nature Center – $5,000 to promote the Lehigh Valley’s farmers markets and farm stands

Butchers Farm Market – $2,000 to purchase a freezer for specialty crops

Farm to City – $3,500 to promote specialty crop consumption at the Dickinson Square Farmers Market
The Food Trust – $3,000 to increase locally grown produce sales and outreach to disadvantaged populations at existing farmers markets
Weavers Way Community Programs – $2,500 to promote Weavers Way Community Programs farmers markets
Wyck Association – $3,750 for specialty crop promotion at the Wyck Home Farm and Farmers Market

Main Street Farmers Market Inc. – $2,000 for advertising and community outreach

Green Pasture Farm LLC – $3,500 to increase produce consumption in underserved areas in Susquehanna and Wayne counties

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Source: PR Newswire