MANHATTAN — The Kansas Department of Agriculture has received a U.S. Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant to fund the Meet Me at the Market Consumer Recruitment Campaign to provide farmers’ market managers and vendors with resources to increase awareness of specialty crops available at their markets. New materials will be created to help farmers’ markets with promotional activities, and farmers’ markets can apply to receive a stipend to use for promotional events and marketing programs.
Farmers’ markets are a primary point of sale for specialty crops in Kansas. Market managers have identified promoting their market to be a project for growth, but many do not have the funds to do so. Twelve markets will be selected to receive these $3,000 stipends which will help them to reach the public in new ways and increase engagement. Five of those markets will also be recipients of a hosted marketing event. In addition, this campaign will develop new educational materials, marketing templates and tutorials which will be available to all 86 registered farmers’ markets in Kansas.
“This grant is targeted at farmers’ markets which are ready to take their market to the next level and engage more in their communities,” said Lexi Wright, From the Land of Kansas coordinator at KDA. “Our goal is for the marketing stipends and new resources to allow these markets to expand, promote and grow their sales of specialty crop items, connecting consumers with local producers.”
KDA, which serves as the state’s regional farmers’ market authority, promotes and supports farmers’ markets in several ways: through its monthly e-newsletter, Kansas Farmers’ Market Network; at regional farmers’ market workshops; and through the state’s agricultural trademark program, From the Land of Kansas. Farmers’ markets play an important role in providing access to healthy food choices in low income and rural areas, as well as enhancing the local economy. KDA is committed to providing an environment that encourages economic growth of the agriculture industry and serving Kansas farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses and the consumers they serve.
Farmers’ markets can find out and access the application for the marketing stipends on the KDA website at agriculture.ks.gov/marketgrant. The deadline for applications is Dec. 31, 2017.
For more information about farmers’ markets in Kansas or the Meet Me at the Market Consumer Recruitment Campaign grant, please contact Wright at 785-564-6755 or Lexi.Wright@ks.gov.