Giving a policy voice to Michigan farmers markets has always been an integral part of MIFMA’s vision and our work as an organization. We are incredibly proud of what MIFMA has achieved for our members over the past 10 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 have been able to accomplish with the support of our members over the last decade, check out our Advocacy Accomplishments. Click here for a print-friendly version of our accomplishments: MIFMA’s Advocacy Highlights.
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.
Part of MIFMA’s vision is to ensure that Michigan farmers markets have policy support. To guide our work towards that vision, each year MIFMA’s Advocacy Committee creates advocacy priorities that will provide a framework for MIFMA’s advocacy 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 2019 Advocacy Priorities were voted on by members at MIFMA’s Annual Meeting on Wednesday, March 6, during the 2019 Michigan Farmers Market Conference. Top actionable priorities for 2019 are outlined below.
2019 Advocacy Priorities
Within the State of Michigan, MIFMA will advocate to:
- Ensure that the wireless equipment needed to accept SNAP is always available at no cost to farmers markets and direct marketing farmers. MIFMA worked in partnership with Healthy Kids Healthy Michigan to secure funding in the 2018 state budget to temporarily cover these costs. Read more about this advocacy accomplishment here. Our continued advocacy is needed to ensure access to this equipment goes beyond this one-time funding. Click here to learn more about this issue and why now is an important time for the State of Michigan to take action.
- Resources to continue and expand the Double Up Food Bucks program
Within the United States, MIFMA will advocate to:
- Explore ways that WIC Cash Value Benefits (CVB) that recipients receive each month to spend on fruits and vegetables can be spent at farmers markets and directly with farmers
- Inform the development of a Harvesting Health pilot portion of the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program so that it reflects the lessons learned and best practices from Prescription for Health programs that have been created and operated within the State of Michigan
How do I get involved?
Join MIFMA’s Advocacy Committee! This committee is charged with guiding MIFMA’s involvement in food and farming policy efforts and advocating for our members on important issues. The Advocacy Committee meets the first Wednesday of each month at 11:00 a.m. EST by video conference. To join, email firstname.lastname@example.org.