One of the goals of the WIC and Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) is to expand the awareness of, use of, and sales at farmers' markets. Each year, the FMNP meets this goal by giving checks to WIC families and seniors to spend at farmers' markets. A new customer base is provided to increase farmers' market and vendor sales.
To participate in the program, the farmer must meet all of the following requirements.
- The farmer must grow one or more of the products sold. Products grown by the farmer are referred to as "homegrown" products.
- Homegrown products must meet the definition of FMNP-approved foods.
- Homegrown products are produced in Wisconsin or at a farm within 50 miles of the Wisconsin border.
- Homegrown products are sold at an FMNP-approved farmers' market or farm stand.
FMNP-approved foods are fresh, unprocessed fruits, vegetables and fresh cut herbs for human consumption. The foods must be grown in Wisconsin or at a farm within 50 miles of the Wisconsin border.
Approved foods grown within 50 miles of the Wisconsin border may be sold to FMNP customers as follows.
- Illinois foods may be sold in Grant, Green, Kenosha, Lafayette, Rock and Walworth counties.
- Iowa foods may be sold in Crawford, Grant and Vernon counties.
- Minnesota foods may be sold in Buffalo, Burnett, Douglas, La Crosse, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, St. Croix, Trempealeau and Vernon counties.
- Michigan foods may be sold in Florence, Forest, Iron, Marinette and Vilas counties.
To become certified to participate in FMNP, the farmer must do the following.
- Attend a training session. A face-to-face training is required for new farmers and for farmers who have violated program rules the previous year.
- Read and sign an agreement ensuring understanding of the rules and procedures of the program.
Farmers may not accept FMNP checks until all certification requirements are met.
When all requirements are met, the farmer will receive approval from the state WIC office, including the following items.
- A letter stating that the farmer is certified.
- A copy of the signed agreement.
- An FMNP sign to post at the market stall.
- An FMNP stamp to validate checks from participants.
- A letter to take to the bank explaining the FMNP checks.
- A list of approved FMNP farmers' markets.
Certified FMNP farmers will be contacted by the state office each year for recertification. Training is not required unless a rule violation has occurred.
Farmers who have not participated in FMNP should contact their local WIC agency to obtain materials and to schedule training.
For reapplication information and for other questions, farmers should contact the state WIC office by e-mail at DHSWICFMNP@wisconsin.gov,or by phone at (608) 266-9824.