In March 2010, six farmers’ market managers and the organizers of one soon-to-be farmers’ market eyed the 2010 Ohio Specialty Crop Promotion Program request for proposals (RFP) from the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA). Their hopes were to use the grant funding to bolster their individual markets and improve the experience of their customers.
Their individual grant prospects, however, were challenged by the ODA’s desire to see more regionally focused projects apply, coupled with difficult questions like: How much impact can one farmers’ market really have on the Ohio specialty crop (OSC) industry? Would it be enough to warrant a grant award? Who from the market would have the time to write the grant proposal on the eve of spring market season? Who would do all the planning and grant program management, not to mention track expenses and fulfill all grant reporting requirements?
These difficult questions, and the ODA’s desire for a regionally focused application, encouraged the individual farmers’ market managers to team up with Growhio to increase their chances for funding. The result was something that otherwise would have been impossible – an award of funding for all seven farmers’ markets. Under Growhio’s leadership, the group developed and submitted to the ODA a collaborative grant proposal with shared programming, promotion and deliverables aimed at shared outcomes, and ODA responded with a $65,000 grant award. Read the full article.
Learn about our new programs developed pursuant to this grant at our kick-off event.