$38.5 Million for the Farmers Market Promotion Program

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As the weather grows warmer, people will head back to their local farmers market for fresh produce, eggs, cheese, pies and other locally grown and made food. So why not throw $38.5 million at the neighborhood productions?

That is how much the U.S. Department of Agriculture is giving to 100 farmers markets for its Farmers Market Promotion Program.


The awards will be between $50,000 and $750,000 and be used to “develop, coordinate, and expand direct producer-to-consumer markets to help increase access to and availability of locally and regionally produced agricultural products,” according to the grant summary.

The funding will support promoting the farmers markets, which are aimed at getting products directly to consumers without middlemen. The grant includes funding for developing marketing strategies for the farmers markets, roadside stands and similar activities.

It includes adapting to changing technology, promoting new business opportunities and marketing strategies to reduce on-farm food waste, according to the grant description.

The funds can also be used to help cover expenses for getting food safety certification, as well as investing in improvements to food safety practices and equipment.

That all sounds nice — who doesn't love a good fresh piece of fruit?

But $38.5 million is a lot of money to spend on marketing and improving sales for these for-profit businesses who sell their goods at a premium rate.

The #WasteOfTheDay is presented by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com.

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