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Coalition partner, Common Grain Alliance, receives USDA Grant to Strength Mid-Atlantic Grain Economy

Updated: Jan 6, 2022

Common Grain Alliance (CGA), a partner of the Virginia Soil Health Coalition, has been awarded a USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program grant. CGA will leverage this multi-year, $749,217 grant to further its mission of building a robust, sustainable, and equitable grain economy in the Mid-Atlantic. CGA’s objectives for this grant include:

  1. Expanding consumer awareness of regional grains as part of the greater regional food system in the Mid-Atlantic;

  2. Increasing revenue for grain farmers, millers, and artisans through integrating regional grains into identified new market channels;

  3. Promoting an equitable marketplace for regional grains for farmers, processors, and consumers.

In partnership with FRESHFARM, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that operates the largest network of farmers markets in the Mid-Atlantic, CGA will conduct a grain stand pilot at farmers markets in the DC-metro area, with the goal of increasing consumer consumption of local grains. CGA will also explore opportunities to integrate regional grains into FRESHFARM’s innovative Pop-Up Food Hub (a wholesale distribution system that reaches underserved communities) and other social incentive programs. Finally, CGA will provide technical training and assistance and organize meet-ups for grain farmers, millers, bakers and grain artisans in support of further incorporating regional grains into the regional food system, all with the goal of supporting the long-term sustainability of the industry.

Further partners for this grant project include advisors June Russell of The Glynwood Center for Regional Food and Farming, formerly of GrowNYC and Greenmarket Grains; Michael Carter Jr., a fifth-generation farmer at Carter Farms and the Coordinator of the Small Farm Resource Center at VSU; and several CGA network members.

For more information, please see the press release from the USDA as well as the full list of FY2021 FMPP funded projects.

Contact: Libby Lyon, FMPP Project Manager

Email: libby (at)

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