Citing both the need for a farmers’ market in Murfreesboro, as well as available grants to help toward that endeavor, the Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce said at an informal meeting last week that now was the time to get the process started.
It was noted the need for volunteers, specifically someone to act as a manager and handle any day-to-day duties, was crucial in bringing the project to life. Other logistics, such as location and times of operation, could be discussed after interest was shown for leadership in the project.
It was agreed by those in attendance at the meeting that it would be a worthwhile venture — labeled as a “big” deal by secretary Jane Fugitt.
Grants are currently available through the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, who partners with Fram Credit Associations of Arkansas to provide the two program opportunities to help build farmers markets and their vendors.
A press release announcing the grants states that “interest in locally grown and made products increased significantly during the pandemic and these programs provide funding assistance for the state’s farmers markets to continue to serve their communities.”
The programs include market promotion, which features grants up to $7,500 for up to 21 farmers’ markets for the purposes of signage, advertising and social media campaigns, with proposals due by March 1. There is also a market bag program that provides reusable paper bags at greatly reduced rates for use at the market.
Anyone interested in volunteering can attend a Chamber of Commerce meeting on the fourth Monday of the month, 6 p.m., at the Murfreesboro Municipal Building. The next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 25.