|Apr 01, 2011 --
Outline Of Need:
The producers were selling their produce in the parking lot behind the Area Visitors Center in Salem, Missouri. A pavilion was needed to have a better place to display and market their produce
How Rural Development Helped: The Salem Community Betterment Association approached Rural Development (RD) to see if there was funding available to help. In 2003, they applied for a RD Community Facility (CF) Grant, and received $23,000 for construction of the pavilion. In 2009, the group received a Rural Business Enterprise Grant for $27,000 from RD for an expansion to the pavilion to add eight new vendor stalls plus another CF Grant of $21,598 to pave the gravel parking lot for the Farmer's Market. The association offered funding and in-kind services from area businesses to partner with RD funds to make these improvements.
The Salem Farmer's Market is a project of the Salem Community Betterment Association. The farmer's market addresses several needs and goals identified in the community plan: support local businesses, provide access to healthy, affordable food for local residents, and increase tourism opportunities for visitors. Several of the producers are working to expand their operations by adding u-pick operations, value-added processing , or growing new products, and the farmer's market serves as a critical sales outlet, and as a networking opportunity to connect with new customers and build working relationships with other small farm businesses. Since 2007, the Council for a Healthy Dent County has been promoting healthy food choices through gardening and shopping at the farmer's market, and has helped promote the farmer's market with special advertisements, cooking demonstrations and other healthy eating information at the farmer's market. Additionally, the farmer's market is a valuable attraction for the tourists visiting in the community, and the farmer's market is centrally located in the Visitor Center Complex. The producers sell a wide range of products from vegetables, herbs, fruits, salsas, eggs, flowers, baked goods and more. The farmer's market is open from May thru the end of October.