Gardener receives grant to begin farmers market

Gardener receives grant to begin farmers market North Central Region SARE (USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) awarded Grace Freeman an on-farm grant to implement a self-sustaining farmers' market in Clay County.

"People have limited access to locally grown produce and about the only in-state vegetable available in the supermarkets is corn for a few weeks in August," Freeman said. "We plan to create a consistent outlet for local farmers to sell their produce."

The grant, totaling $4,032, will be used to establish a farmer's market which includes investing in insurance, advertising and equipment. Grant funds will be used to secure a location and lease a certified scale for vendor's use. Results of the project will be communicated through public feedback meetings, word-of-mouth and the county Extension office. Anyone interested in developing this market is encouraged to attend a planning meeting Sunday, Nov. 17, at the 4-H building in Vermillion.

"Farmers' markets help locally grown produce to be consumed locally and opens up an outlet for local farmers who might want to diversify crops or those who are looking for a secondary source of income," Freeman said.

North Central Region SARE awards grants annually to farmers and ranchers for on-farm research, education or demonstration projects in 12 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. For more information on applying for a farmer grant, or learning about results of past projects, contact producer grant program coordinator Ken Schneider at 402-472-0809 or kschneider@unl.edu.

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