Increasing the supply of locally-produced foods in Michigan

MSU Extension will offer three programs to assist in applying for grants to increase the supply of locally produced foods.

The demand for locally-produced and sold food has been growing tremendously. However, the supply of locally-produced commodities has been slower to respond. That is why the Agricultural Marketing Service of the US Department of Agriculture, under the authorization in the 2014 Farm Bill, has announced two grants programs to assist the agricultural community in meeting that increased demand. These programs can benefit those who may be interested in increasing access to local foods and would like some financial assistance in pursuing their goal.

In April, Michigan State University Extension, in cooperation with the Regional Rural Development Centers and the Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA) will offer training programs to assist individuals and organizations in applying for grants available through AMS. Combined, the Farmers Market Promotion Program and the Local Food Promotion Program grant nearly $30 million per year to local applicants. These trainings will be offered in every state throughout the nation and a listing of the training sites is available from the Agricultural Marketing Service Technical Assistance Project. Their website also has supplementary materials to assist applicants.

In Michigan, MSU Extension will be offering three trainings during April 2015. These four-hour trainings will be held in Grand Rapids, Gaylord and Novi. The trainings include information specific to the AMS grants process as well as grant writing tips that can be useful for any grant proposal. Learn more and register for one of the upcoming events.

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