History of the NMFMA
With around 21 informal farmers’ markets around the state, the NMFMA is initiated by a statewide need for a centralized resource center for farmers’ markets with a budget from the NMDA of $50,000.
The NMFMA begins offering member markets the option to purchase affordable liability insurance through a group policy.
With encouragement from the NMFMA, the NMDOH agrees to take on the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) for WIC clients, piloting the program at six markets around the state.
The NMFMA begins hosting an annual conference for individuals interested and involved in any capacity with one of the state’s farmers’ markets.
The NMFMA begins creating market development programs to help markets increase their impacts in the community by improving food access among low-income populations, measuring local economic impacts and connecting community health resources to Farmers’ Markets.
With part-time contractors visiting markets, providing technical assistance, and creating a farmers’ market handbook, the number of markets around the state steadily grows to approximately 27.
The NMFMA begins partnering with organizations such as New Mexico State University (NMSU) Cooperative Extension to conduct farmer trainings.
With additional funds from NMDA and a Specialty Crop grant, the NMFMA expands promotional funding and capacity building grants to individual markets.
The NMFMA lobbies the legislature to start a state-funded Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition “Enhancement” Program (SFMNP) pilot in six counties around the state, providing low-income seniors with vouchers to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets.
The NMFMA starts pilot programs for accepting EBT (food stamps) at farmers’ markets using wireless technology at four participating markets.
The NMFMA begins assisting farmers’ markets with implementing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamp program) at farmers’ markets.
The NMFMA encourages the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) to apply for the federally funded Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program and, due to the success of the state-funded pilot, receives funds to provide vouchers to over 16,000 seniors.
The NMFMA begins helping markets increase the public visibility of their SNAP programs with the Double Value Coupon Program (DVCP). The NMFMA receives $50,000 in federal stimulus funds to offer this program, increasing annual SNAP sales by 400% at 16 markets.
The NMFMA works with its partners, the Permaculture Guild and the Permaculture Credit Union to develop a micro loan program in response to the needs of small farmers for low-cost, unsecured loans.
The number of farmers’ markets expands to roughly 60, with about 30 markets able to accept SNAP. The NMFMA also pilots a Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program in three counties, connecting people suffering from diet-related diseases to locally grown produce through health clinics.
The NMFMA also pilots a Fruit & Vegetable Prescription (FVRx) Program at three markets.
The Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program is funded by Wholesome Wave, one of twelve sites selected from across the nation. The program is carried out in Rio Arriba County through El Centro Family Health’s school-based clinics.
The NMFMA begins a Community Health Worker Outreach Program that provides Community Health Workers with tools and information to improve health equity and fresh food access through their communities’ farmers’ markets.