WVFMA Mini-Grant Program: Empowering Farmers Markets Across West Virginia

WV Farmers Market Association awards $20K+ to farmers markets across state

CHARLESTON, W.VA.—Seven West Virginia farmers markets around West Virginia are growing and expanding thanks to new funding through the West Virginia Farmers Market Association.

The West Virginia Farmers Market Association, a nonprofit that helps advance farmers markets in the state, awarded seven “Mini Grants” ranging from $1,365 to $5,000 to help farmers markets boost their operations, marketing, and overall impact.

“These ‘Mini Grants’ can transform our small markets, who requested everything from coolers and freezers to point of sale systems,” said Holly Morgan, executive director of the West Virginia Farmers Market Association.

“These investments in our local markets are also investments in our community, which will benefits all West Virginians.”

WVFMA Mini Grant recipients include:

1. Doddridge County Farmers Market – $5,000

2. Spencer Farmers Market – $4,310

3. Warwood Farmers Market – $4,050

4. New Roots Community Farm – $3,500

5. Pendleton County Farmers Market – $2,475

6. Honey Do Produce – $1,800

7. Charles Town Farmers Market – $1,365

Honey Do Produce, located in Ashton, W.Va., responded to the news on Facebook: “We applied for a mini grant through the WVFMA and we were one of the very lucky markets who received grant funding! We’re so grateful to receive this funding! By next spring we plan to be completely under roof and we’ll be expanding. We’ll be using this grant money to have Internet and WiFi installed and a new point of sale system. No more cell phone apps, hoping to get a signal. We also plan on adding our own farm raised meats. We’ll be starting with pork and adding beef by spring. And we’re really considering adding farm raised poultry as well. Big changes are on the way and we hope that you’ll all join us in this journey!”

The WVFMA Mini-Grant Program is funded by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture. Grants will be offered again next year, with an increased dollar amount. For more information, visit https://wvfarmers.org/.

ABOUT

Established in 2007, the West Virginia Farmers Market Association is a statewide membership-based organization designed to strengthen farmers markets and enhance their surrounding communities. The WVFMA provides resources and technical assistance to farmers markets through its website and other communication channels. The WVFMA works with various partners across the state to provide farmers markets with relatable and relevant resources to address their needs. The organization now comprises more than 60 member markets statewide.

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We’re excited to introduce an initiative that’s all about supporting our local farmers markets and enhancing the agricultural landscape of West Virginia. You can find out how your farmers market can benefit from this opportunity and apply for funding to boost your operations, marketing, and overall impact.

 

This program aims to extend financial assistance for the following categories:

  1. Phase 1: Technology – This includes provisions for Wi-Fi access and point-of-sale equipment.
  2. Phase 2: Marketing – Funding will be provided for branded signage and promotional materials.
  3. Phase 3: Capital Improvement – This category encompasses coolers, refrigerators, cool bot trailers, and display cases.

Applicants have the flexibility to apply for multiple funding categories based on their market’s specific requirements. Furthermore, we encourage applicants to think innovatively beyond the listed items and customize their projects to suit their market’s unique needs. These are competitive grants with a maximum award for each project set at $5,000.

 

 

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicants must be West Virginia Department of Agriculture registered farmers markets and current members of the West Virginia Farmers Market Association (click here to join).
  • Farmers markets must complete the annual Farmers Market Census conducted by the WVFMA.
  • Only one application per farmers market will be considered.

The types of entities that qualify as farmers markets for the WVFMA Mini-Grant program include traditional, consignment, on-farm, and mobile markets.

 

 

Funding Information:

  • Total available funding for the WVFMA Mini-Grant Program is determined annually by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.
  • Individual grant awards may vary and will be determined based on the merit of the proposed projects and the availability of funds.
  • Maximum Grant Amount for 2023 is $5,000.

 

 

Application Process:

  • Fill out the WVFMA Mini Grant Application Budget and WVFMA Mini Grant Application.
  • Use these documents to input information into the form below. Please note that you should complete the application in one continuous session, as the form doesn’t support saving and resuming. Refer to your Application Template to input your narrative responses. When prompted, upload the Budget Template accordingly.
  • Upon finishing the application, submit it. An email confirming the receipt of your application will be sent to you.

 

 

Use of Funds:

  • Funding provided through the WVFMA Mini-Grant Program is intended to support specific projects, initiatives, or purchases that directly benefit farmers markets and their stakeholders.
  • Funds should not be used for salaries or indirect costs.

 

 

Review and Selection Process:

  1. All applications received by the deadline will be reviewed by a selection committee appointed by the WVFMA. This committee will include members from the West Virginia Farmers Market Association, the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, and farmers.
  2. Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
  • Project Overview – 20 points maximum

  • Project Goals and Expected Outcomes – 20 points maximum

  • Budget Breakdown – 15 points maximum

  • Implementation Timeline – 10 points maximum

  • Impact Assessment – 15 points maximum

  • Market Eligibility – 5 points maximum

  • Supporting Documents – 5 points maximum

  • Public Benefit – 10 points maximum

 

 

Notification and Disbursement:

  • Applicants will be notified of the grant decisions via email by 9/25/23. A letter will also be mailed to the address on file.
  • Successful grant recipients will be required to provide additional documentation, including a Financial Information Request Form and a W-9 form, to facilitate the disbursement of grant funds.
  • Grant funds will be disbursed on 9/29/23. Checks may take up to seven days to arrive.

 

 

Acknowledgment: The WVFMA Mini-Grant Program is funded by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture. We acknowledge their support in making this initiative possible.

Reporting Requirements: Grant recipients must submit quarterly progress reports and a final project survey at the end of the grant period. Reporting templates will be provided to successful applicants. Recipients are required to complete the WVFMA Farmers Market Census.

For any questions or further assistance, please contact us at executivedirector@wvfarmers.org