Senator Stabenow Announces Support to Expand Ypsilanti Farmers Markets, Open Year-Round Marketplace

Monday, October 16, 2017

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, announced $231,000 to expand Ypsilanti’s popular farmers markets and complete a new indoor-outdoor market that will be open year-round. The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP), which helps increase access to farmers markets in communities and develops new opportunities for farmers to sell their goods locally.

"We all know buying local is a win for our economy in Ypsilanti,” said Senator Stabenow. “When we grow our farmers markets, we can connect more families with fresh Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables. And when our farmers can sell directly to their neighbors, it means more dollars in their pocket.”

Stabenow authored the 2014 Farm Bill, which greatly expanded FMPP and created historic investments to increase access to locally grown food. These investments have helped to improve and grow farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture, agri-tourism, and other direct farm-to-consumer marketing opportunities.

The grant funds were awarded to Growing Hope, the Ypsilanti nonprofit that manages the city’s farmers markets. Upon the completion of the Ypsilanti Farmers MarketPlace indoor-outdoor facility, the project will expand the market from seasonal to year-round. The project will also use the funds to attract new customers and provide training to vendors to help them increase their sales across all Ypsilanti Farmers Markets.

"With the FMPP funds, the Ypsilanti Farmers Markets run by Growing Hope will be able to engage new customers through promoting diverse food cultures that make up our community,” said Erica Bloom, Program Director for Growing Hope. “Our Markets will be a place to celebrate Michigan farmers and their wide variety of agricultural products produced in our region."

For more information about the Ypsilanti project, please visit USDA’s website here.