USDA Rural Development State Director Quinton Robinson today announced a $38,585 grant awarded to the Georgia Mountains Farmers Network to expand operations of the Northeast Georgia Locally Grown Farmers Market.
"This project increases access to locally grown fresh foods while providing more market opportunity for local agricultural producers" said Quinton Robinson. Northeast Georgia Locally Grown Farmers Market is an internet based farmers market, connecting 35 farmers and food producers in a six county area of Northeast Georgia and North and South Carolina to customers throughout the region. Customers make purchases through computerized ordering online and pick up their orders at one of the market’s three distribution pick up sites. The grant will be used to develop a marketing campaign and strategies, as well as hire a market manager for the new pick up site that began on June 11, 2014 and is located at the Northeast Georgia History Center on the campus of Brenau University in Gainesville, Ga. The Locally Grown market operates year-round, and sells fresh produce grown in greenhouses during the colder months. Online ordering occurs Friday through Sunday at http://northeastgeorgia.locallygrown.net and the pickup is on Wednesdays from 5-6:30pm.
The funding is being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Value-Added Producer Grant program. The program helps agricultural producers grow their businesses by turning raw commodities into value-added products, expanding marketing opportunities and developing new uses for existing products.
In FY2014 USDA awarded Value-Added Producer Grants in 46 states, Puerto Rico and Micronesia. A full list of recipients is available here. Funding for each project is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the grant agreement.
The announcement of today’s funding was made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve the quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit http://www.usda.gov/farmbill.
President Obama’s historic investments in rural America have made our rural communities stronger. Under his leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities.