Nina Keller: Calling all senior farmers

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 22, 2022

The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program provides eligible older adults with $50 in coupons each growing season to use at participating farmers’ markets and roadside stands to purchase produce.

It is a federally-funded program administered by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Services Agency and in Ohio, by the Ohio Department of Aging. ODA provides additional state funds to support SFMNP operation within Ohio.

In 2020, the Ohio State budget allowed for expansion of the SFMNP to all 88 counties and that support is continuing this year. As a result, AAA7 is seeking farmers to participate in the SFMNP in our 10 counties. To become a participating farmer, the following criteria must be met:

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• Must be an individual who grows and sells authorized, local produce, herbs and/or honey at farmers markets or road stands in the 10 counties mentioned beforehand.

• Participate in training for new farmers participating in the SFMNP.

• Follow and comply with guidelines and responsibilities as set forth by the Ohio SFMNP.

• Provide information to the appropriate oversight agencies about the farmers market/roadside stand including name, location, hours of operation, and other operational information.

• Meet set USDA regulations and meet any training requirements as determined.

Any farmers who are interested can print an application online by visiting the AAA7’s website at Farmers can also call the Agency toll-free at 1-800-343-8112 with any questions or e-mail to obtain an application.

Nina Keller is executive director of Area Agency on Aging District 7.