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Spring is in the air...

March is National Nutrition Month, Women History Month, and the arrival of spring. We think that's enough to celebrate all month long! 


Perhaps it is the seasonal transition that makes us also feel reflective, but we've been feeling inspired by the work done on the national and grassroots level to remove economic barriers for individuals and families to access nutritious food from their local farmers and markets. The recent USDA Comparison of SNAP authorized farmers and markets between FY2013 and FY2020 indicated an 89% growth in redemption. This is incredible progress - thanks to everyone who’s reading this newsletter and beyond! Yet there's still a lot to be done. According to the US Census, the poverty rate increased by 1 percentage point from 2019 due to the pandemic with a large population of college students also eligible for SNAP under the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021. Making nutrient-dense whole foods accessible would mean we need to expand the number of farmers and markets as authorized SNAP vendors. The same USDA report stated a 14% growth in SNAP-authorized farmers markets and direct marketing farmers between 2013 and 2020. We think with the resources MarketLink has and the power of sharing, we can get more farmers and markets to accept SNAP. Help us by sharing information about MarketLink with at least two farmers or markets this month!


With that, we leave you with this quote from Margaret Atwood:

"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like the dirt."


If you received SNAP/EBT equipment from us and want to share your story as well, please send photos and stories to or send us an email to schedule an interview.

To be featured, please send us the following: 

  • 1-5 photos of your farm and/or market
  • A few sentences about what you are up to and how you've benefited from the equipment. 

Online SNAP Updates

The MarketLink team has been hard at work collaborating with USDA on getting online SNAP going for farmers and markets. It is a completely new initiative for USDA, so establishing new procedures, navigating the various security considerations, and building new technology connections takes time. If you are interested in being updated on this project, please fill out our brief survey here.


This month we’re sharing the work of the Franklin Park Conservatory Farmers Market from Ohio. The market’s mission is to provide access to healthy and affordable food, promote economic development, and strengthen their relationship with our community. Michele Bailey, FP's Teen Corps and Farmers Market Coordinator,  shared with us that,

"[The Conservatory] is located in the middle of a food desert. Last year was the first year we used your equipment for EBT purchases. In addition to EBT, Ohio offers a matching incentive program called Produce Perks that we were able to offer. Produce Perks doubled the amount of fresh produce that our customers could purchase.  Our vendors were thrilled that we were able to offer EBT sales and I would say that it made a great difference in our community. Many customers were grateful for the opportunity to find fresh, whole foods right in their neighborhood.”  

The Conservatory also has a paid summer internship called Teens Corps where youth are taught “job readiness, customer service, marketing and gardening skills” through growing produce that then gets sold at the farmers market. Their food security program is a great example of how organizations are tackling food insecurity within their community through education and SNAP/EBT incentive programs. 

Thank you FP Conservatory Farmers Market and thank you Michele for sharing your experience with the program.

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NAFMNP Networking Webinar

Tuesday, March 15 from 12:00 - 1:30 pm (CDT)

This webinar will allow members and non-members to discuss challenges and successes with their Senior and WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Programs. In addition, you'll have the opportunity to share what you are interested in learning so that the NAFMNP can support you in your program(s).

Click here to register. 

2022 Alaska Food Festival and Conference
Everybody Eats: Nourishing Our Culture, Our Health, Our Future

March 17-19 (Virtual)

Join us at the Alaska Food Policy Council's Alaska Food Festival & Conference this month. On its 6th semi-annual cycle, the conference will include local, regional, and national speakers who will present on a variety of subjects with four focuses: Policy & Education; Production & Harvest; Culture & Community; Business & Industry. Cost to attend varies. 

Our regional representative, Lisa Roach, will be presenting on March 19th during the Lighting Presentation Session between 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm AKST. 

2022 Live Local: Local Food & Farmers Market Conference

March 23-24 at the Embassy Suites in East Peoria, IL

MarketLink is tabling at the Live Local conference this month. Come say hi to our regional representative, Whitney Butler!

The statewide event is an engaging two-day conference that will bring local farmers, local organizations, and local businesses together. The conference will highlight Illinois’ local food systems from farms to consumers. Attendees will have the opportunities to connect, learn, and plan for the future. Cost to attend varies. 

Alaska Farmers Market Association Summit: Gather & Grow 
April 8th, 8 AM - 5 PM (Virtual)

Join market organizers and supporters, farmers and vendors, from around the state for a day devoted to growing your farmers’ market. Share ideas, develop new skills and strengthen your support network. Free to attend.

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MarketLink Promotional Videos Request for Proposal

Deadline: March 31st

We are seeking the production of five short promotional videos highlighting various elements of the MarketLink program. The organization or candidate must have proven experience filming and producing marketing videos and will film, edit, and produce the videos independent of marketlink staff. The selected organization or candidate.

Feel free to share our job posting with those who might be interested in applying.


Meet Whitney Butler, MarketLink's Regional Representative! 

Whitney’s roots are in Colorado, where she grew up playing with her siblings outdoors - raiding Grandma’s garden, riding horses, climbing trees, and running from our chickens & turkeys. 

She fell in love with farming & farmers in college while working at the University of Wyoming’s student farm, ACRES. After school, she volunteered on small farms for the WWOOF program in Hawaii, New Zealand, and Costa Rica. When she returned to Colorado, she had the honor of working for the Denver Botanic Gardens in the production greenhouses. Since 2016 she has managed a horticultural business focused on native landscaping.

She’s thrilled to be a part of the MarketLink team, where every day she gets to help farmers succeed. Her favorite part of the job is connecting with farmers across the country and hopefully being able to take one thing off their to-do list!

When she’s not working, she can be found in her own garden, cooking, reading, or going on a camping adventure with her husband, dog, and cat in tow.


MarketLink is a program of the National Association of Farmers Markets Nutrition Programs (NAFMNP).

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