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Giving a policy voice to Michigan farmers markets has always been an integral part of our work as an organization. We are incredibly proud of what MIFMA has achieved for our members over the past 17 years, from expanding acceptance of food assistance benefits at farmers markets to advocating for sales of Cottage Foods, wild foraged mushrooms and wine at Michigan farmers markets. Click here to learn more about our Advocacy in Action.

For an in-depth look at what we were able to accomplish with the support of our members in our first decade, check out our Advocacy Accomplishments.

We advocate for policies that place farmers markets at the forefront of the local food movement to increase the awareness and consumption of the state’s diverse agricultural products and ensure equitable access to fresh, nutritious, local foods.

We believe all community-driven marketplaces in Michigan should have policy support. To guide our advocacy, each year MIFMA’s Advocacy Committee creates a set of priorities to provide a framework for our work. Member feedback is a valuable part of the drafting process and MIFMA believes it is important to give members time to ask questions and provide suggestions.

MIFMA’s 2023 Advocacy Priorities were voted on by members at MIFMA’s Annual Meeting at the 2023 Michigan Farmers Market Conference. Top actionable priorities for 2023 are outlined below.

State Level Priorities:

Changes to Michigan’s Cottage Food Law

  • Since 2010, the Cottage Food Law in Michigan has allowed producers to make non-potentially hazardous food items in their home kitchen, not licensed by the State of Michigan, and sell them directly to consumers. A decade later, changes in the retail environment and lessons learned call for changes to be made to this bill. HB 4333 proposes expanding the law to allow online sales, increasing the gross sales cap, and creating a voluntary registration system to protect producer’s privacy.
  • Advocacy efforts will include identifying and building bill champions and following the bills through the legislative process. 


Advancing Produce Prescription Programs (PPR) in Michigan

  • A growing body of evidence shows the impact PPR programs have on the health of participants, on their communities, and on the economic viability of local food systems. Over the course of the last five years, PPR programs have experienced extensive growth in the number and size of programs operating. As this expansion of PPR across Michigan continues to grow, so does the need to advance the future of these programs. Currently, funding for these programs comes from a mixture of state and federal grants, private foundations, and/or community health benefit dollars.
  • Due to the inconsistent sources of funding, many programs struggle to continue past pilot year(s) or have to change key elements in their program design with each new funding source. MIFMA has identified sustainable funding as the primary limiting factor to starting, sustaining, and growing PPR programs. MIFMA will continue to join partners in the Produce Prescription Statewide Learning Network and a newly formed Steering Committee to advocate for these programs to be a healthcare expense covered by Medicaid, private insurance, and/or state funding.
  • Advocacy efforts will include hosting a Legislative Education Day to raise awareness of these programs among state decision makers and prepare them to take action to support these programs when applicable.


Preparing to modernize WIC and Senior Project FRESH

  • The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), the banking industry, and others are all encouraging voucher-based food assistance programs including the WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Programs (known in Michigan at WIC Project FRESH and Senior Market FRESH) to modernize benefit distribution and redemption strategies by moving away from paper vouchers and towards a technology solution. If this transition is done in a thoughtful way that takes into consideration all those involved in the programs including recipients, participating retailers, and program administrators, then the shift could be very beneficial and help sustain these relevant programs.
  • Advocacy efforts would influence decisions made to modernize these programs to ensure they are well informed and take into account how program participants and retailers alike interact with these programs.

National Level Priorities:

Produce Prescription Programs (PPR) Funded by Medicare

  • Funding for the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), known as WIC Project FRESH in Michigan, was threatened under each of the budgets presented by the Trump Administration. Food security advocates fought each year to ensure that Congress continued to fund the program on a national level at or near historic funding levels despite those threats.
  • Budget proposals from the new Biden administration and negotiations in Congress should be monitored for ongoing threats to this program and MIFMA could engage in advocacy when needed to maintain and/or grow program funding.


LAMP Reform

  • The Local Agriculture Marketing Program, widely referred to as LAMP, contains the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP), Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP), and the Value Added Producer Grants (VAPG).  Great progress has been made to provide these programs with mandatory funding, however, challenges still remain, including the need for a simplified application and streamlined application process.  There has also been a lack of BIPOC organizations and/or grants supporting communities of color funded through this program.  We believe that improvements to these programs will increase access to and impacts on Michigan farmers markets.
  • In partnership with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), advocacy efforts could include sign-on letters, meeting with key legislatures with roles in the Farm Bill process, and more.


Join a Committee!

To learn more about MIFMA’s committees, click here!

Join Our Listserv!

What is a Listserv? 

A listserv is an email correspondence system set up amongst individuals interested in a similar and particular topic or cause. When a member of the list serv sends an email out through the listserv – everyone who has subscribed to it is notified and receives that email. Everyone then has the opportunity to respond (similar to a forum). The farmers market list serv was created to facilitate discussions among Michigan markets.

Follow the two simple steps below to subscribe!

Step 1) Send an email to

Step 2) In the body (or the message) of the email write the following command.

SUBSCRIBE farmmktmi & your name.

You will be sent a confirmation message with instructions on how to activate your subscription. There are over 1,200 subscribers.

IMPORTANT: Please review the Michigan Farmers Market Association Listserv Rules and Etiquette

Volunteer with MIFMA!

After completing this application, we will contact you with upcoming volunteer opportunities. Thank you!


    To learn more about membership options copy and paste the following link in to your web browser.
    (This a good source for current volunteer oppurtunities)
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