Local Agriculture Market Program receive USDA funding
By: Sydney Sheffield
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced additional funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) for the Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP). A total of $130 million in supplemental funding will promote competition and create more and better markets for local and regional food producers by expanding and strengthening opportunities to sell to institutions, such as universities, hospitals, and settings operated by local, tribal, and state governments. The supplemental ARP funding is divided into $65 million for fiscal years 2022 and 2023 each.
“Through these grant programs, we are able to maximize opportunities for economic growth and ingenuity in the local and regional food system. These grants have generated new income sources for small, beginning, and historically underserved farmers; increased local food access across rural and urban communities; and provided platforms for value-added and niche products to shine,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This year, we are excited to further develop market opportunities for producers by focusing on farm to institution. Expanded access to and local food purchasing within institutional markets could be a major boon for small and mid-sized producers located throughout the country.”
LAMP will receive a total of $97 million in competitive grant funding to help local and regional food entities develop, coordinate, and expand producer-to-consumer marketing, local and regional food markets, and local food enterprises. The total includes the first $65 million of supplemental ARP funding and $32 million in funds provided through the 2018 Farm Bill. Of the $97 million, LAMP’s Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP) will receive $57 million, and the Regional Food System Partnerships (RFSP) will receive $40 million.
FMLFPP is implemented through the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) and the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP). FMPP supports direct to consumer markets like farmer’s markets and CSAs and the LFPP supports indirect to consumer markets, such as food hubs and value-added product incubators. Both programs require a 25% cash or in-kind match of the Federal portion of the grant.
RFSP supports public-private partnerships that build and strengthen the viability and resilience of local or regional food economies. Projects focus on increasing the availability of locally and regionally produced agricultural products and alleviating unnecessary administrative and technical barriers. Projects can cover the planning and design of a local and regional food economy as well as implementing or expanding an existing one. This program requires a 25% cash match of the Federal portion of the grant.Applications will close on May 16, 2022. USDA encourages applications that serve smaller farms and ranches, beginning farmers and ranchers, underserved producers, veteran producers, and/or underserved communities. Applications can be submitted here.