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Apply now for farmers’ market cost-share program

Minnesota farmers markets looking to ensure market vendors and customers are practicing safe and sanitary guidelines during the upcoming winter market season can now apply for another round of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Safe at the Farmers Market cost-share program, according to a press release.

Eligible markets may be reimbursed up to $300 on the purchase a variety of equipment that will help markets comply with the guidance for Minnesota farmers markets and vendors. Approximately $10,000 in total will be available through this program.

Examples of eligible equipment include handwashing stations, additional tables to increase distance between vendors and customers, signage to properly communicate handwashing and social distancing, sanitation supplies to clean commonly touched surfaces, and rope/fencing/tape/chalk to guide customers through their market experience.

In order to qualify, the farmers market must meet a minimum of four times between November and March. The farmers market must include a minimum of five locally grown and/or cottage food vendors who sell at the winter market.

Farmers markets that participated in the first round of the Safe at the Farmers Market cost-share program this summer are eligible to apply for this round as well.

Applications to the program are being accepted now through Dec. 15, or until all funds are depleted. Funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information and to apply online, visit the MDA’s Safe at the Winter Farmers Market cost-share web page.

Funding for the program is made available through the Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation program, which administers grants to farmers, agribusinesses, schools and more throughout the state of Minnesota. The AGRI program exists to advance Minnesota’s agricultural and renewable energy sectors.