Jessica A. Chittenden|
June 20, 2008
Commissioner Announces $106,000 to Promote Farmersí Markets
30 Grants to Provide Promotional Support for Farmersí Markets
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker today announced more than $106,000 for 30 grants that will provide promotional support for the Stateís farmersí markets. Farmersí markets across New York State are now open for the season, offering a wide array of products, from fruits and vegetables to wines, meats, eggs, honey, maple syrup, cheeses, homemade crafts and an assortment of other locally produced items.
"Farmersí markets provide an excellent outlet for farmers to sell their goods directly to the consumer," the Commissioner said. "This form of direct marketing provides consumers with access to locally produced, farm-fresh produce, while supporting the local economies of the communities where farmersí markets are located. I am very pleased to announce the funding of 30 projects to assist with the advertising and marketing activities of farmersí markets, raising awareness of these beneficial and important organizations throughout New York State."
The Farmersí Market Grant Program is providing 30 farmersí markets up to $5,000 or 50 percent of the cost of advertising and marketing activities. Eligible projects include advertising and marketing activities that promote one or more farmersí markets, such as the design and purchase of portable signs and banners, billboard advertising, brochures and media advertising campaigns.
The Commissioner encouraged all New Yorkers to visit their local farmersí market this summer to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables and other locally produced products. Many markets stage live music, food tastings and demonstrations, making farmersí markets an enjoyable experience for the whole family. By attending local farmersí markets, the public has the opportunity to interact with the farmers and artisans who produced the food, learning where their food comes from and how it was produced.
"In the face of record high fuel prices, the reasons to support your local farmersí markets are now more compelling than ever," the Commissioner said. "Local food systems such as farmersí markets reduce food miles and transportation costs, resulting in significant energy savings. Consumers benefit from fresher and better-tasting food, while more food dollars stay within local communities."
According to the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, produce in the U.S. travels, on average, between 1,300 and 2,000 miles from farm to consumer. Roughly eighty percent of energy used in the U.S. food system goes to processing, packaging, transporting, storing, and preparing food. Farmersí markets significantly reduce these costs by allowing farmers to sell their products directly to the consumer.
Diane Eggert, Executive Director of the Farmersí Market Federation of New York said, "Buying local is becoming increasingly important to consumers. With spiraling gas prices, rising costs at the grocery store and concerns for the safety of foods brought in from distant places, consumers want to shop locally and know that they can ask questions about the way the food they are feeding their families is being produced and handled. Our stateís family farmers are proud of the high quality, nutritious foods they produce and are happy to offer them to consumers each market day and willing to answer all the questions that consumers want to ask to feel comfortable that the foods they are buying are safe and wholesome."
There are currently more than 400 community farmersí markets in operation throughout New York State, including 89 in the New York metropolitan area. A list of New York State farmersí markets can be found on the department website at: www.agriculture.ny.gov/AP/CommunityFarmersMarkets.asp.
While at the farmersí market, consumers should look for the Pride of New York emblem. The Pride of New York program helps consumers identify New York products where they shop through the use of the Pride of New York logo featuring the Statue of Liberty above a farm field. It also assists farmers and food processors in marketing their products and encourages retailers and restaurants to highlight the New York State products they use and sell by displaying the logo. The Program currently has more than 2,000 members statewide.
A helpful resource for consumers interested in purchasing the freshest local produce can be found on the Pride of New York website. The website features a Harvest Guide, which includes the harvest and availability dates for a wide variety of New York State produce. The Harvest Guide can be found at: www.prideofny.com/harvest.html.
FARMERSí MARKET GRANT RECIPIENTS
Broadway Market (Erie County) $4,200.00
Buffalo Place Inc. (Erie County) $4,750.00
* Capital District Cooperative, Inc. (Albany County) $5,000.00
City of North Tonawanda (Niagara County) $5,000.00
Clarence Hollow Farmersí Market (Erie County) $5,000.00
Clinton Chamber of Commerce (Oneida County) $1,033.23
Cobleskill Partnership, Inc. (Schoharie County) $1,600.00
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County $5,000.00
Cornell Cooperative Extension Oneida County $4,855.00
Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation (Chautauqua County) $2,500.00
* Glens Falls Farmersí Market Association, Inc. (Warren County) $5,000.00
* Harvest Home Farmersí Market, Inc. (New York County) $5,000.00
Ithaca Farmersí Market (Tompkins County) $2,614.80
Long Island Farm Bureau (Suffolk County) $2,384.05
Monday Neighborhood Farmersí Market (Jefferson County) $3,662.00
Oneonta Farmers Market Promotion Program (Otsego County) $5,000.00
* Plattsburgh Farmers Green Market (Clinton County) $5,000.00
Pulaski Farmersí Market (Oswego County) $2,890.00
* Rensselaer County Economic Development (Rensselaer County) $1,300.00
* Saratoga Farmers' Market Association (Saratoga County) $5,000.00
Schoharie County Country Music Festival, Inc. $1,515.00
Sullivan County Farmersí Markets Association, Inc. $3,000.00
Town of Irondequoit (Monroe County) $2,597.50
Town of Skaneateles (Onondaga County) $2,025.00
* Troy Waterfront Farmers Market (Rensselaer County) $1,500.00
United Methodist Church of North Chili (Monroe County) $500.00
* Village of Saugerties (Ulster County) $5,000.00
* Waterford Maritime Historical Society (Saratoga County) $5,000.00
Webster Business Improvement District (Monroe County) $3,274.00
Westcott Community Center, Inc. (Onondaga County) $5,000.00
* Signifies projects that are located within the Hudson-Champlain corridor, which will celebrate its Quadricentennial in 2009. The Quadricentennial will place an international spotlight on the Hudson Valley, Lake Champlain and New York City; its history and culture, as well as stimulate and encourage local, national and international tourism to the regions. For more information on the Quadricentennial, visit www.exploreny400.com.
2008 Press Releases