WSFMA 2017 Conference! February 2-4 at Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine, WA

Will O’Donnell hired as new WSFMA Executive Director.

The WSFMA has recently been notified by the IRS that our application for tax-exempt status has been approved. The 501c3 designation has long been a strategic goal for the WSFMA as it not only reduces the amount of federal income tax that we are required to pay, but opens up opportunities for tax-deductible charitable contributions from individual and institutional donors.

  King County knows that visiting a farmers market is one of best ways residents can help build a stronger local food system. To help spread the word, King Country recently issued a news release announcing the opening of many of the County's 41 farmers markets. The County is also promoting shopping at farmers markets by encouraging residents to become “Good Food Champions” by being aware of what they consume, where it is grown or produced, and whether others also have the opportunity to eat healthy, local food.

Interested in USDA grants but not sure where to start or what all those acronyms mean? Join us for a free webinar to help you prepare before the Request for Proposals (RFP) come out this spring. Tuesday, March 17, 2015 10:00am to 11:00am To register, please complete this online form. You will need access to the Internet and a flash-enabled web browser. We’ll cover:

  • USDA grants available to support local food and farms
  • Pre-RFP project development, partnerships, and management
  • Getting the in the USDA system (DUNS, SAM and grants.gov)
  • Additional resources
The webinar will be recorded and available on the CSANR site after March 17: http://csanr.wsu.edu/webinars/ This webinar is part of the Agricultural Marketing Service Technical Assistance Project. The AMSTA initiative shares knowledge about effective project development and grant-writing practices with an emphasis on USDA’s Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Programs. Additional information and resources are available at: www.amsta.net Feel free to email me with any questions. Colleen Donovan Washington State University Center for Sustaining Ag and Natural Resources Small Farms Program colleen.donovan@wsu.edu

Martha Baskin urges us to get out and shop our local farmers market for local, delicious, environmentally-friendly holiday gifts.  Read the Crosscut article that features Seattle area WSFMA member markets here. The article includes a link to the Green Acre Radio version of the story that focuses exclusively on farmers markets and everything that they’re about.

ActivelyNorthwest is an online newsletter sponsored by LifeWise of Washington.  They have started a new “Behind the Farmers Market” series featuring farmers selling at farmers markets in Washington and Oregon.  Check out the first issue featuring Wade Bennett of Rockridge Orchards.  He and his wife Judy, and their employees, are well loved at a number of markets in the Seattle area.   You can read the full article here. The series will feature three Washington farmers and three Oregon farmers.  Please let the publishers know if you enjoy reading the article!

On August 20, 2013 the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) issued a notice in the Federal Register requesting comments on strategies to enhance the retail food service eligibility requirements for SNAP (EBT) retailers. Read the full notice. One of WSFMA’s core beliefs is that everyone should have access to farmers markets and one of that ways that farmers markets can expand opportunities for low income people to shop at farmers markets is by accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. On Monday, October 21, WSFMA submitted comments in response to this notice. The full letter can be accessed here.

Fresh Bucks program extends through the end of the year. Read more here

Watch and share this new video with Karen Kinney, Executive Director of Washington State Farmers Market Association, and Chef Jason Brzozowy, Executive Chef of Tilth Restaurant in Seattle, as they showcase the variety of market fresh produce available peak season at farmers markets across Washington.  The Sweet Corn & Pepper Salsarecipe featured during Farmers Market Week 2013 is inexpensive, simple to prepare, and easily combined with a variety of animal or vegetable protein and grains for a complete meal. In Chef Jason’s capable hands, preparation is a whiz! In addition to the stunning sights and sounds of Columbia City Farmers Market in Seattle and the delightful kitchen scene with Chef Jason, the video delivers three simple messages:

  • Farmers markets are for everyone: they connect us with the folks who grow the food
  • Money spent at farmers markets stays in the community and spurs economic growth
  • Produce bought at farmers market is at the peak of freshness and nutritional value.
Let us know what you think of the video/recipe on the WSFMA Facebook page athttps://www.facebook.com/WSFMA.