HUGHESVILLE, Md. – The Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission, a division of the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland, is the recipient of a US Department of Agriculture Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) Grant of $599,703.32, to ‘Build Resilience, Develop and Expand Direct Producer-to-Consumer Markets and Increase Access to Local Foods in Southern Maryland.’
According to the USDA press announcement released on November 23, 2021, the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) awarded $37.5 million in funding to 88 projects to support direct producer-to-consumer marketing projects such as farmers markets, community-supported agriculture programs, roadside stands, and agritourism. SMADC is the only Maryland agriculture entity to be awarded FMPP project grant funds in this category.
SMADC’s winning project, ‘Building Resilience in Southern Maryland Producer to Consumer Initiatives,’ expands the efficacy of SMADC’s farmer/consumer resource and promotion programs and Maryland Market Money (MMM) Program, jointly administered in partnership with the Maryland Agriculture & Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO). The project will focus on increasing consumer awareness for direct producer-to-consumer markets and access and availability of regionally produced agricultural products and providing technical assistance for value-added food producers.
FMPP Grant funds will also enable the evaluation and expansion of the MMM food access program to socially disadvantaged, senior, and veteran consumers and producers, increase the efficiency and sustainability of the program deliverables through state-of-the-art technology for famers markets in combination with a targeted ad campaign to connect federal nutrition benefits shoppers to direct to consumer outlets (farmers markets, farm stands, on-farm markets, and CSAs) that accept SNAP and FMNP.
“Our goal is to leverage SMADC programs with the dynamic outreach of MMM to increase farm and market revenues and promote and expand access to healthy local foods for consumers,” commented Shelby Watson-Hampton, SMADC Director. “We are proud and excited to be the recipient of this significant grant award to continue to enhance SMADC’s important work to insure a robust and resilient future for farms in Southern Maryland.”
The FMPP awards/funding is made possible through grant programs administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) as part of the Local Agriculture Marketing Program (LAMP): the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Programs (FMLFPP) and the Regional Food System Partnerships (RFSP). To learn more about SMADC programs for farmers and consumers visit SMADC.com.