AG Secretary: Investments in Farm Markets and Stands Will Strengthen Communities, Farmers

April 3, 2009

$96,400 in Federal Grants Announced for Farm Markets, Stands in 27 Counties

HARRISBURG, Pa., April 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Pennsylvania farmers markets and farm stands that market fresh, local produce directly to consumers received a boost today as Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff announced federal support for 39 projects in 27 counties that will increase participation in food assistance programs and help farmers remain viable in tough economic times.

The state-administered, federally-funded grants are part of the Direct Farm Sales Grant program, which helps promote new or existing farm stands or farmers markets to increase retail sales and participation in the Women, Infants and Children, or WIC, Farmers Market Nutrition Program.

“Direct farm sales grants are an important investment in our communities and the state’s leading economic enterprise — agriculture,” said Wolff. “Not only do the grants provide wholesome products to those with limited access, but by purchasing locally-grown products, consumers can keep more money in their local communities and ensure that our agriculture industry will continue to thrive, even in times of economic uncertainty.”

“I encourage all Pennsylvanians to take advantage of the bounty of local farmers by purchasing nutritious, affordable and delicious seasonal products from the state’s more than 1,000 farmers markets and farm stands, many of which are open year-round,” Wolff added.

The $96,400 in grants were provided through the 2008 Farm Bill and administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

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

  • The cost of developing a business plan for a new farm stand or farmers market;
  • Costs associated with opening a new farm stand or farmers market, including site selection, demographic research, farmer recruitment and sales potential analysis;
  • Promotion of an existing farm stand or farmers market through marketing materials, media outreach and advertising;
  • Staffing costs to manage and operate a farm stand or farmers market;
  • The purchase of tables, stands and other display materials for use in a farm stand or farmers market;
  • The provision of nutrition education materials or educational materials about Pennsylvania farm products; and
  • Outreach to program participants to increase involvement in food assistance programs.

A listing of farmers markets and stands can be found on the department’s agriculture tourism destination Web site: www.visitpa.com/KeystoneCountry.

For more information about the grant program, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us and click on “Bureaus,” and then “Food Distribution.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Direct Farm Sales Grant recipients are listed below, by county:


Adams County Farmers Market Association: $2,750 to promote farmers markets in the county.

Hollabaugh Brothers, Inc.: $1,500 to increase sales and awareness of local produce.


Enon Country Gardens: $3,500 to promote FMNP check redemption and nutrition.


Downtown Bedford, Inc.: $1,586 to promote the Bedford Farmers Market.


Berks Agricultural Resource Network: $2,750 to create Opportunity Farmers Market at the Opportunity House, a non-profit homeless shelter in Reading.


Backside Produce: $1,500 to develop a new farmers market.


Tall Pine Farms: $2,250 to the project, “From Overgrown and Abandoned to Pennsylvania Farm Fresh Produce.”


Metricks Harvest View Farm & Market: $1,500 to promote produce sales.


Gregg Township: $2,250 to promote the Old Gregg School Farmers Market and to improve and increase opportunities for farmers and consumers


Anselma Farmers & Artisans Market Association: $3,000 to expand nutrition education and outreach at the Anselma Farmers and Artisans Market and to support increased producer participation in the FMNP and PA Preferred Programs.

Historic Kennett Square: $1,500 to promote the Kennett Farmers Market.


Capital Area Resource Conservation & Development: $2,500 to link farmers with underserved consumers, local restaurants and retailers in the Harrisburg area.

Joshua Group: $2,750 to expand the Joshua Farm Stand operated by at-risk youth.


Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation: $2,750 to promote the Lansdowne Farmers Market.

Upper Darby Farmers Market Coalition: $2,000 to fund a feasibility study for a farmers market in Upper Darby Township.


Penn Soil Resource Conservation and Development Council: $1,178.75 to establish a farmers market in Waterford.


Eden Valley Organics: $1,556.25 to promote sales of locally-grown produce.

Plowshare Produce: $2,750 to promote the increased consumption of fresh, local, sustainably-produced vegetables in northern Huntingdon County.


Paradise Gardens & Farm LLC: $2,500 to help promote sales of locally-grown produce.


Co-Operative Farmers Market of Scranton: $2,750 to promote the market’s 70th Anniversary revitalization project.


Tabor Community Services: $1,500 to support Eastern Market’s ability to increase access to fresh Pennsylvania-grown food for low income residents.

Threshold Foundation: $3,500 to support their mobile farmers market operated by at-risk youth.

Venture Lititz: $1,500 to promote the Downtown Lititz Farmers Market.


Risser-Marvel Farm Market: $3,000 to support the market’s produce education program.


Penn State Cooperative Extension – Lehigh County: $2,000 to create and distribute the Lehigh Valley Farm Market Guide & Map.


The Fisher Farmstead: $2,750 to a project entitled, “Preserving Your Foods Preserves Our Pennsylvania Farms.”


Conshohocken Borough: $2,750 to promote the Conshohocken Farmers Market.


Easton Farmers Market: $3,500 to promote sales at the farmers market.

Saucon Valley Farmers Market: $2,500 to support growth of the Saucon Valley Farmers Market through strategic marketing education and outreach activities.


Farm to City: $2,250 to promote Rittenhouse Square Farmers Market, Fountain Farmers Market and City Hall Farmers Market.

The Food Trust: $4,700 to increase Pennsylvania produce sales and electronic benefit transfer, or EBT, for the Farmers Market Nutrition Program at the Clark Park Farmers Market in West Philadelphia.

Weaver’s Way Community Programs: $2,250 to support nutrition education and local resident access to healthy and affordable locally-grown fruits and vegetables at the Stenton Avenue Farm Stand.


Coutts Blueberry Farm Market: $2,000 to create and promote a new farmers market in Hawley.

Coutts Berry Farms: $1,179 to promote their farm stand.


Pennsylvania Wilds Agriculture Heritage Alliance: $2,750 to promote “Building Local Food Systems” projects.


Penn State Cooperative Extension – Susquehanna County: $1,500 to support and promote the Montrose Farmers Market.


Penn State Cooperative Extension – Warren County: $3,500 to increase awareness, attendance and sales at the Warren Farmers Market.


Maple Lawn Farms: $2,250 to support a direct mailing campaign to reach new customers for pick-your-own fruit and farm market sales.

Y.O.U.T.H. Program Inc.: $4,700 to support the program’s community youth garden.

    CONTACT:  Nicole L. C. Bucher
    (717) 787-5085

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Source: newswire

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