Farmers Market Promotion Program

In October 2015, Ledge Light Health District received a two-year $99,698 Farmers Market Promotion Grant from the USDA. The grant will support the activities of the Farmers Market Network of SECT in partnership with the Norwich Community Development Corp, the City and Town of Groton, City of New London, Centro de la Comunidad and Thames Valley Sustainable Connections.

The purpose of the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) is to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets.

The “Love My Farmer’s Market” initiative will support local farms and residents in overcoming the barriers to creating a thriving marketplace for local agriculture products at farmers markets. By Sept. 2017, we will increase the profitability of small farms participating in farmers markets and simultaneously increase access to, and consumption of, locally grown foods. A countywide Farmers Market Association will build the capacity of market managers and coordinate schedules, create marketing campaigns and train market managers to respond to an ethnically diverse and changing population. Enhanced countywide promotion and transportation will attract more customers to markets, which in turn, will attract more farms. An emphasis will be placed on two existing low-income/low access priority markets and on establishing a new market for a “food desert” neighborhood. A Latino ambassador will conduct targeted outreach and assist non-English speaking residents with navigating urban markets and using supplemental nutrition programs. A new farmer’s market internship program will support local farms and promote job creation. Healthy cooking demonstrations will promote the consumption of fruits and vegetables from the market, and children’s activities designed to attract families will be provided to create a vibrant family friendly market.

Project Goals 

  • Increase the profitability of small farms participating in farmers markets and simultaneously increase access to, and consumption of, locally grown foods.

Project Objectives

  • Establish a New London County Farmers Market Manager Association with participation by at least 75% of market managers, from which to coordinate and promote markets, leverage resources, and train farmers and market managers.
  • Increase participation in farmers markets by local farmers by 25%
  • Increase market purchases by people of limited means and families with children (to access locally grown, farm fresh fruits, vegetables, and foods) at farmers markets, by 100%.

Major Activities 

  • Conduct a market analysis the will assist markets in meeting the needs of both the customers and farmers, and will help recruit new farmers, guide crop plans that reflect customer requests and inform market managers as they strive to support their farmers.
  • Host an annual meeting for market managers, vendors, and prospective vendors
  • Establish an agricultural student intern program, connecting high school students with farms and farmers markets.
  • Establish a farmers market in the City of Groton (a USDA designated food desert)
  • Enhance the New London Farmers Market with cooking demonstrations, family activities, nutrition education, a Latino Market Ambassador and an extended season indoor market.

For more information about the Farmers Market Promotion Program contact:
Cindy Barry at 860-448-4882 ext 302 or [email protected].

Helpful Resources

New London County School Garden Network