Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food - Grants, Loans and Support AMS | USDA

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)

Marketing and Services Division Technical Assistance (AMS)

Type: Technical Assistance

Max Award: n/a – subject to staff resources

Big Idea: The AMS Wholesale Markets and Facility Design program provides technical assistance to help start up farmers markets, help mature farmers markets transition to permanent facilities (as in Santa Fe, NM or Jackson, MS), or help develop regional distribution and collection facilities. In addition to site assessment and design services, staff marketing specialists and engineers also provide consumer profiles of local market trade areas to market managers and planners, using Claritas market research software, and are currently examining opportunities for using energy-conserving technologies (such as solar power) in permanent food market and storage facilities (including food banks) through case study analysis. During the design, construction, and operational phases of the project, AMS may provide additional technical services such as review of equipment specifications and advice on: facilities management, energy efficiency, design adjustments and postharvest handling.

Who can apply: Anyone

Can you see an opportunity where you live?:

Real Examples:

  • AMS leadership assisted community members in building developing the Lansing, MI “City Market”. The project had overlaying issues including: vacating an existing market site, relocating and building a new market, a challenging site, competing permanent and seasonal vendors, a tight schedule and a limited budget. AMS moved the process forward by providing and being an independent facilitator to build consensus among participants with diverse interests and agendas to achieve an inclusive and effective outcome. There was a long, complex debate about building the new market. The Lansing City Council eventually agreed with proponents and voted to approve the development. The project has moved to the next step and AMS is consulting with the project architect.
  • AMS technical services provided guidance on the developmental standards for the design of the Edcouch, TX market with coordination of stakeholders, consulting architects and engineers. This region has the largest concentration of Hispanic farmers in the country. This market will be the focal point for local farmers to sell directly to the public in an open-air pavilion with space for 36 farmer’s market vendors, 110 smaller spaces for artisans and other public vendors, plus parking space, restrooms and an administration building.

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