There are potentially hundreds of funding opportunities available to assist in the promotion of the direct farm marketing industry. These opportunities come from a variety of institutions, though most are administered by state or federal agencies. They present a variety of recipient eligibility requirements. For instance, some are available for individual producers, while others are limited to local and state governments.

These opportunities are also intended to address a variety of goals ranging from simply increasing access to locally grown food and aiding community development to assisting farmers produce food in an environmentally sustainable manner. This means you should also look at programs outside those with the direct goal of advancing direct farm marketing opportunities. For instance, there may be conservation programs or rural development programs that can be used to meet other programmatic goals through initiatives that also improve opportunities for direct farm marketing.

Here, you’ll be able to access many of these programs, though not all, according to your particular characteristics and needs. For instance, if you’re an individual producer wanting to market organic produce at your local farmers market, you’ll want to look under the producer category and you can then scroll down to the organic category, where you’ll then find the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Organic Initiative, administered by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS).

Featured Funding
The Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) provides grants to a variety of institutions, though not individuals, to promote producer-to-consumer marketing opportunities. Potential opportunities include domestic farmers’ markets, roadside stands, community‐supported agriculture programs, and agri-tourism.
Similarly, if you’re a non-profit organization looking for funding to conduct research and outreach, you might consider partnering with USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) through the Risk Management Outreach and Education Partnership Program.

There is likely to be some overlap in the categories listed below, and the listing of a grant program under a specific user category does not necessarily ensure eligibility for all of those types of users. For instance, under educational institutions, there may be some funding opportunities only available for public institutions. However, finding a category that closely fits your circumstances should help begin your search for funding.

Publications

Guide to USDA Funding for Local and Regional Food Systems, from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (April 2010).

Abstract: This guide explains fifteen grants and programs that can help develop or improve local and regional food systems development. A case study is provided for each program.

Small Farms Success Stories: USDA Small Farms and Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Coordinators’ Collections, 2006 – 2008, from USDA.

Abstract: Providing a list of USDA small farm and beginning farmer and rancher coordinator programs along with success stories describing how they work.