If you have a level of expertise in how locally base, direct farm to consumer marketing programs operate and are willing to spend 50 to 60 hours of time in July, USDA wants to hear from you.
The Department is looking for individuals to help review project proposals for the 2012 Farmers Market Promotion Program grants.
The Farmers Market Promotion Program is a competitive grant process designed to expand farmer-to-consumer market opportunities in the United States. The grants, which are administered by USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service AMS, help provide and expand direct market opportunities for farmers throughout the country. Approximately $10 million is available for marketing operations such as farmers markets, community supported agriculture, roadside stands and agritourism.
"Serving as a grant reviewer for the Farmers Market Promotion Program is an important way to support American farmers, agricultural organizations and businesses that provide nutritious and affordable foods to their local communities," said Arthur Neal, deputy administrator for the AMS Transportation and Marketing division, which oversees the Farmers Market Promotion Program for USDA.
Prospective reviewers should have a general knowledge of how locally-based, direct farm-to-consumer marketing programs operate. They must also be able to commit approximately 50 to 60 hours during the month of July to the process. Reviewers will evaluate, score and comment on approximately 25 proposals, and participate in team discussions for group consensus on final project scores and rankings. There is no travel involved, so interested individuals may participate from anywhere in the country.
The USDA is particularly interested in reviewers with diverse perspectives and critical judgment who are farmers with direct marketing experience, members of agricultural cooperatives, producer networks or associations; employees from non-profits, public benefit and economic development corporations; regional farmers market authorities or managers; federal, state, local or tribal government employees or individuals with experience in implementing electronic benefits transfer projects.
Selected reviewers must register with the Central Contractor Registry at www.ccr.gov.
Upon completion of the process, reviewers will receive a $750 stipend for their time and effort. Participating federal employees are not eligible for a stipend. Individuals and/or their organizations including subcontractors that prepare or submit applications for the 2012 Farmers Market Promotion Program grant cycle are not eligible to be peer reviewers.