We’re pleased to announce that REAP Food Group recently received a USDA Agricultural Marketing Services (AMS) grant through the Local Agriculture Marketing Program (LAMP) Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP). The $250,000 award will be used to design and pilot a Wholesale Farm Fresh Atlas and readiness program to serve small- and medium-scale farmers in southern Wisconsin.
Building off of the strengths of the direct-to-consumer Farm Fresh Atlas, REAP will design and pilot a digital Wholesale version of the Farm Fresh Atlas. It also plans to create a Wholesale Readiness technical assistance program for small- to medium-scale farmers who want to sell wholesale in southern Wisconsin. This includes sales to aggregators, food hubs, grocery stores, restaurants, and anchor institutions such as hospitals and schools.
With a projected cost of $256,284, the planning project will focus this program in southern Wisconsin, though many of the technical assistance materials will be available and useful to producers and buyers statewide.
“With many years assisting Wisconsin’s second largest school district with local food procurement, our farmer connections and our partnerships with hospitals and higher ed, REAP is well positioned to help both food producers and buyers understand and overcome the hurdles to get local food into institutional kitchens,” says REAP Executive Director Helen Sarakinos.
REAP Farm to Business Director Anna Landmark adds, “With the wealth of family farms and anchor institutions in southern WI, this region can really reap the economic benefit of investing in local and sustainably-grown food.”
The USDA invested a total of $75.4 million across 41 states to 172 LAMP projects within the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP). LMLFPP grantees’ efforts support the development, coordination, and expansion of direct producer-to-consumer markets and local and regional food business enterprises.
“These grants will help maximize opportunities for economic growth and ingenuity in local and regional food systems. The [LAMP] grants have a history of generating new income sources for small, beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and creating new market opportunities for value-added and niche products.” -Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
Meanwhile, we’re thrilled to congratulate Madison-based FairShare CSA Coalition on their own LFPP grant to build capacity and increase access to markets through an aggregated CSA model.