The number of farmers markets across the U.S. continues to grow, offering farmers and ranchers an opportunity to diversify and reach consumers more directly. The local movement and the trend to meet the face behind your food is a trend not likely to go away, and the USDA is offering $10 million in funding to help support these markets in areas that don’t have any already established.

According to Post South, the USDA has approximately $10 million in funding for the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) to help create farmers markets in underserved areas as a way to increase availability of local agricultural products, says Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain.

"The money can help rural, tribal and urban economies create direct marketing opportunities, like farmers markets, for our Louisiana farmers. It's an opportunity for our smaller towns and inner city urban areas to obtain greater access to healthy, fresh food and minimize the impact of food deserts, says Strain."

Completed applications must be received – not just postmarked – by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service no later than close of business on July 1. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered, nor will incomplete applications.

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