Agriculture Chairwoman Stabenow Announces More than $226,000 to Support Northern Michigan Farmers Markets and Local Food Initiatives

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today announced $226,068 in support for four Northern Michigan farmers markets and local food initiatives. The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program, which helps expand access to farmers markets and food hubs and develop new opportunities for farmers to sell locally.

"When we grow things here and make things here, we create jobs here in Michigan. Local food hubs and farmers markets connect families and small businesses with local farmers, which makes it easier to buy Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables," said Stabenow. "Buying local is a win for our economy, a win for Michigan agriculture and a win for consumers who will have better access to local food choices."

Support for the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program was greatly expanded in the 2014 Farm Bill, which was authored by Senator Stabenow and signed into law by President Obama in Michigan earlier this year. The new Farmers Market And Local Food Promotion Program helps improve and expand farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agri-tourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer marketing opportunities.

Project details below:

The City of Harrison will receive $53,310 to operate and increase consumer and farmer participation in a new downtown indoor-and-outdoor farmers market, retail incubator, and community kitchen.

Grow Benzie in Benzonia will receive $47,758 for advertising and promotion of its farmers' market and incubator kitchen.

Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan will receive $100,000 to assist in the expansion of their Farm to Freezer aggregation and distribution program.

Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians will receive $25,000 to create a Tribally Supported Agriculture Network or sell their crops at the local farmers' markets.

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