"A win-win situation for farmers and for families across the state as we try to provide more access and easier access to locally grown, fresh farm products."
- Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Resources

More information on New York farms and produce, plus links to local and state organizations and information that can help make New York farmers’ markets more successful!

The following benefit programs are accepted at many New York farmers’ markets and can help put healthy, local, and farm-fresh food on your table, while helping New York farmers sell more product:

  • SNAP
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also known as the “SNAP”), provides recipients with monthly benefits through an EBT card that can be used like cash to buy produce and other food products. At participating farmers’ markets, the EBT card can be used to purchase produce and other food products (farm-fresh eggs, bread, etc.) from farmers and food vendors.

  • Farmers Market Nutrition Program Checks (or Vouchers) and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program("FMNP and SFMNP")
  • The Farmers Market Nutrition Program Checks (or Vouchers) and the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program provides benefits to eligible women, infants, children and seniors through "checks" that can be used at most farmers' markets to pay for fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables.

  • WIC Vegetables & Fruits Check Program at Farmers' Markets ("WIC V&F")
  • The WIC Vegetable & Fruit Checks Program at Farmers' Markets provides benefits to eligible women, infants, and children through "checks" that can be used to purchase fruits and vegetables, from traditional WIC vendors (grocery stores) and from participating farmers at farmers’ markets.

  • FreshConnect Checks (or Coupons)
  • FreshConnect Checks (or Coupons) are $2 incentive checks provided for every $5 in SNAP dollars spent at a participating FreshConnect Farmers' Market.

Farmers and food vendors at many New York farmers’ markets accept EBT, FMNP & SFMNP, and WIC V&F benefits, and the FreshConnect Program is helping make this list even longer. Check with your local market to see which benefits are accepted. To find a farmers' market where your SNAP card is welcome click here.

Click here to learn more about FreshConnect Farmers’ Markets (including hours and locations). Check out this list provided by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to look for other farmers’ markets in your area. And please contact us if you'd like more information on the FreshConnect Program, or have ideas for setting up or expanding a market near you!

To find a farmers' market where your SNAP card is welcome click here.

For a national directory of farmers' markets, where you can search by zip code, distance, market name, types of products offered, accepted methods of payment, and more check out this site.

The New York Farmers’ Markets Federation provides a wealth of information useful for people interested in starting or expanding a farmers’ market, including a Guide to Developing a Community Farmers Market, a Farmers Market Manager Training Manual, and frequently asked questions

An invaluable source of information comes from our partners at the county level – Cornell Cooperative Extension. Each county has an office that is dedicated to improving lives and communities by putting experience and research knowledge to work.

http://cce.cornell.edu/Pages/Default.aspx

Knowing what permits your market needs to operate is very important. Check with your local municipalities' zoning and land use office for what permits you need to operate in your area. In NYC, the NYC Department of Parks & Recreations can help with questions about locating on city park property.

Knowing what permits and licenses your farmers need to safely sell their products at your farmers market is also important. Check with state and local agencies to find out more information, and if you are in NYC also go to their license and permit website.

Connecting with key partners in your community can make all the difference as to whether or not your market survives and thrives. When designing your marketing strategy make sure you connect with groups that will help spread the word that your market is operating and help drive traffic to your market. For example, agricultural professionals, nutrition education outreach specialists, social services professionals, WIC professionals, senior center professionals and NYC senior center professionals. When contacting a partner in your community, first introduce yourself and your market. Next, explain to them what a farmers market is and what it has to offer their audience. Highlight that farmers markets are an economically viable and sustainable way to increase access to healthy, fresh and affordable produce for everyone in the community. Explain to them what marketing material(s) you have and ask if you could drop some off at their location. Build your relationship from there.

Help educate customers about the seasonality of our fresh, local produce available at New York State farmers markets by handing them one of our harvest charts and explaining how by shopping for products that are in-season this may save them money.

Connect with nutrition education professionals in your area and bring nutrition education to your farmers market.

Access tools that have been developed by the federal government to increase awareness about nutrition and our food environment such as MyPlate, Food Atlas and Food Desert Atlas.

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, a new way for consumers to partner with farms to help give farmers needed capital while ensuring easy access for consumers to healthy, fresh, local food. In a CSA, consumers purchase a "share" of crops to be grown by a farm during the upcoming growing season. Typically, share owners pay up-front (ie, before the crops are harvested) which gives farmers up-front access to the working capital they need to plant and harvest their crops. Then, when the food is harvested, the farmer provides a portion of crops to each member of the CSA, usually through a convenient delivery from the farmer to a local pick-up site. More and more, some CSAs are making arrangements to allow members to pay for shares using SNAP benefits or are making other arrangements to make CSAs more accessible to people with limited incomes. For more information on CSAs and making CSAs accessible, check out this information from the Northeast Organic Farming Association or this information from NYC-based food justice organization Just Food.

Click here for a searchable list of farms in New York State that you can visit or recruit to participate in a local farmers’ market.

Check out the below sites for more information on New York farm products!

• Apples - New York Apple Association
• Beef - New York Beef Industry Council
• Berries - New York State Berry Growers Association
• Cheese - Farmstead and Artisan Cheese Makers Guild
• Dairy - American Dairy Association & Dairy Council
• Flowers - New York State Flower Industries
• Fruit - New York State Horticultural Society
• Honey - Empire State Honey Producers Association
• Maple - New York State Maple Producers Association
• Organic - Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York
• Pork - New York Pork Producers
• Potatoes - Empire State Potato Growers, Inc.
• Vegetables - New York State Vegetable Growers Association
• Wine - New York Wine & Grape Foundation - New York Wine & Grape Foundation

New York’s moderate climate, abundance of rain and rich soils allow our farmers to grow a wide assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables. Click here to learn what is grown here in New York and when it is available for purchase

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets is dedicated to ensuring the continued success of New York State agriculture. Through numerous services and specialized programs, the Department assists both producers and consumers by helping to ensure the safety of our food, the health of our plants and livestock, the conservation of our land, and the economic vitality of the agricultural industry overall.

News and Announcements

July 1, 2015 Issuance and use of FreshConnect Checks at EBT/SNAP sites begins

November 10-12, 2015 Market Manager Certification Program at Cobleskill

November 30, 2015 Last day to use Farmers Market Nutrition Program Checks

December 15, 2015 Last day for farmers to deposit/cash FMNP checks

January 15, 2016 Last day for vendors to send in 2015 FreshConnect Checks for redemption

May 6, 2016 Governor Cuomo Announces $500,000 FreshConnect Food Box Program in the Finger Lakes and New York City

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