Bison Association receives a grant for local food promotion
September 29, 2016
The National Bison Association this week was awarded a $213,272 three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farmers' Market Promotion Program to strengthen bison producers' ability to connect with their local community at farmers' markets, through agritourism activities, and with other direct marketing initiatives.
The bison association's grant award was part of $26.8 million in Farmers' Market and Local Food Promotion Program grants announced yesterday by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack at the New York Times Food for Tomorrow Conference in New York City. The grants are administered by AMS and create economic opportunities for producers, increase access to fresh, healthy food for consumers, and connect rural and urban communities across the country.
Dave Carter, executive director of the National Bison Association, said, "This grant proposal was developed with the assistance of bison producers across the country who are engaged in farmers' markets and agritourism. The support provided through the grant will allow us to develop resources and programs to help smaller producers expand their businesses."
Grant funds will be used to develop training materials, conduct workshops across the country, and to develop on-line directories to connect urban residents with bison producers in their region. The grant will also fund a series of "pop-up" bison culinary events in selected U.S. cities during the final year of the project.
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), said, "Colorado has a rich agricultural heritage that includes a strong bison ranching tradition. This grant will help bison producers around the country increase their opportunities to market their products to consumers. It will help boost the bottom line for our bison ranchers and help grow our agriculture sector."
Elanor Starmer, administrator of the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, said, "All around the country, we're seeing farms and small food businesses grow when they tap into markets for local foods. There's so much consumer interest in buying local, and these grant programs help build that connection. Whether it's through farmers' markets, food hubs, restaurants or grocery stores, when farms and ranches can sell their products locally, it helps bolster rural economies and improve access to healthy foods for our nation's families."
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–National Bison Association