Farmers Markets In The Allegheny Highlands Get A Boost From A USDA Grant
Monterey, Va – Highland County Farmers Market Master Scott Smith has some good news for area farmer’s market vendors and customers. A grant proposal was submitted to the US Department of Agriculture in 2010 and the participating market administrators recently heard that it was funded in the amount of $77,600.
“As we looked at this grant, we touched base with the other markets in our area; the Pocahontas market, the Bath County market, the Pendleton market to see if they wanted to join together with us” says Smith. “We did receive their support as we submitted this grant.”
The funding is available through 2012 and can be used in a variety of ways to improve area farmer’s markets.
“We’ve got a lot of provisions in there to help make the markets themselves stronger” he says. “We’ve got money in there to be able to use for advertising purposes, for other promotional purposes such as signage. We’ve got provisions in there to allow the market managers to take some training in areas that they feel they need a little bit more knowledge in.”
Training programs for both vendors and market masters will be organized and offered in the four county area. In fact, Scott Smith and Mary Hodges from the Bath Farmers Market are scheduled to attend a Virginia Cooperative Extension workshop for market masters the first week of February.
So while the snowflakes are still flying, these farmer’s market administrators will be receiving training and will be planning their strategies to make 2011 the best year yet for farmers markets in the Alleghany Highlands. Scott Smith also anticipates that the new Agricultural Center and meat processing facility in Highland County will bring additional opportunities for vendors and customers.