April 22 is Earth Day

Established in 1970, Earth Day is celebrated every April 22nd with the focus of environmental education and appreciation of our beautiful planet. Although farmers and small food producers celebrate the Earth every day, this is our annual chance to really make it count! The Earth Day Network has dedicated Earth Day 2018 to focus on ending plastic pollution, so use these 3 easy ways to reduce plastic consumption and improve your farmers' market business.
  1. Instead of giving out plastic bags at your market booth, order re-usable tote bags with your logo and sell them. Avoid plastic bags and get free advertising when your customers walk around the market displaying your logo! This works great at Zero Waste Markets like the Ecology Center Farmers' Markets.
     
  2. Market managers who partner with a recycling center to have a drop off location attract more shoppers who want to deposit their difficult to recycle items. Programs like GrowNYC and Eco-Cycle are great examples. Or you can organize a special Earth Day Farmers' Market like the Beverly Hills Earth Day Farmers' Market!
     
  3. Encourage your hot food customers to bring their own re-usable food containers and utensils from home. You'll save tons of money on disposable items and greatly reduce waste at the same time. Amber Holland from the Portland Farmers' Markets inspired us with her presentation on Durable Dining at InTents Conference 2017. Read more here about how they're leading the charge on this initiative and how to launch your own plan. 
Enjoy & have a happy Earth Day! 

2018 Farm Bill

The House Agriculture Committee recently released a draft of their 2018 Farm Bill and the Senate hopes to advance their version by May. Whether you grow food, make food, or just eat food, the Farm Bill is America's most important piece of farm and food legislation. Click here to learn more and get involved in the discussion surrounding this bill. 

Business Grants for MN Farms & Foodmakers

Applications are due by May 15th for the FEAST! Smart Start Grant Program, awarding cash and education to give Southern Minnesota farmers and food entrepreneurs a leg up. The program's $10,000 in funding plus ongoing technical assistance and customized coaching helped 2017 grantee Grandma's Gourmets land a prize at this year's Good Food Awards. Apply now!

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