Farm Credit Sponsored MarketMaker Innovation Awards for Best Practices Currently Accepting Proposals

Posted on 09/01/2017 at 12:00 AM by Shannon Hoyle

The National MarketMaker Network is seeking Best Practices proposals for any of the following areas:

  • Marketing
  • Strategic Partnerships
  • Outreach
  • Education

These proposals must relate to the National MarketMaker program in both their focus and implementation. If your state wishes to be considered, the National MarketMaker Network is requesting that a written proposal addressing the points detailed below to be submitted no later than Friday, September 29, 2017. See official Request for Proposals.


The 2017 Innovation Award is open to any Organization or Entity that has done innovative programs and projects related to MarketMaker to the benefit of food and agriculture, farmers/ fishermen and ultimately the consumer.   Multiple award applications per state will be accepted and must be done in coordination with that state’s Principal Investigator.   However, each state is eligible for one award per year.   Previous award winners are eligible. 

Proposal Requirements

Proposals should feature Innovative Applications of the MarketMaker program that have demonstrated the support of MarketMaker’s overarching goals to connect producers to markets and to improve access to fresh, healthy, local foods to consumers.  An application might include programs or activities that have accomplished any of the following: 

  • Contribute to the well- being of targeted stake holders – including, but not limited to, food producers, consumers, NGOs, farm-to-school programs, food banks, food hubs, extension educators and/or buyers of all types
  • Build strong partnerships across MarketMaker stake holder groups
  • Improve profitability for farmers
  • Reach new stakeholder groups
  • Help meet a need for underserved populations
  • Educate the public or farmers in matters related to food
  • Contribute to the overall improvement of the MarketMaker program
  • Create a model which can be shared and used among all the MarketMaker states
  • Demonstrated new uses for MarketMaker as a resource
  • Contributed to the overall improvement of the MarketMaker program

Selection Criteria

Quality applications will show clear impact either through measurable outcomes or documented success stories.  Letters of support are strongly encouraged. Special consideration will be given to those applications which offer best practices that 1) show strong partnerships, 2) can be adapted for use in other states and/ or 3) are particularly innovative or creative in nature.

Application Process

Complete the attached cover page accompanied by an application not to exceed four pages in length (single spaced, 12 point type).  Applications can be submitted electronically to Lori Dalfonso
Attachments and Letters of Support can be included and will not be counted against your four page limit and should be saved as single .pdf file with the file name {State Name} Appendix

Deadline for Submission
Friday, September 29, 2017

Monetary Awards

A maximum of three winners will be selected, dependent upon quality of applications.  Winners of the Innovation Award will receive $6,000 for 1st place, $4,000 for 2nd place, and $3,000 for 3rd place.  Winners will also receive up to $750 travel scholarship to attend the award ceremony at the National Value Added Agriculture Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, November 14th-16th, 2017.  


Judging will be conducted by a committee of impartial judges who are not part of the National MarketMaker team and who do not have any direct affiliation with any MarketMaker State Partners. Each judge will be asked to rank and score each proposal to ensure that the process for selection is as fair and unbiased as possible. The National MarketMaker staff has no input into the selection process. Results (top three) will be announced in time to allow for award winners to make travel plans to receive their awards at the National Value Added Ag Conference in New Orleans.  


If you have any questions regarding this Innovation Awards please direct them to:
Lori Dalfonso - or Darlene Knipe at  309-428-0128

All submissions will become the property of the National MarketMaker Team and may be used for marketing and outreach purposes for all MarketMaker State Partners. Formal announcements of award winners and related press releases will be issued following the award ceremony in November. 

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