MarketMaker Receives USDA Award

University of Illinois Extension’s National Food MarketMaker Project was one of four groups honored with USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Partnership Award for their exemplary work and outstanding contribution in support of the USDA mission and for their positive impacts on agriculture at their annual NIFA Award Ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 6, 2010.

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MarketMaker received the award in the category of Multistate Efforts. The online marketing resource gives farmers greater access to regional markets by linking them with processors, retailers, consumers and other food supply chain participants. The University of Illinois-led effort boasts a partnership of 17 land-grant institutions and over 30 departments of agriculture and non-governmental organizations.

 "NIFA’s Partnership Awards showcase the outstanding work of our grantees and highlight the important role our partners play in advancing agricultural science, education and extension," said Roger Beachy, NIFA director.

"We’re really honored and excited to receive this kind of national recognition," said Dar Knipe, University of Illinois Extension marketing specialist. "The emphasis of this award is on multi-state collaboration. We have been fortunate to have an extraordinary team of individuals from across the country who has worked hard to make this program a success. They made MarkerMaker award worthy."

 The national website is located at http://national.marketmaker.uiuc.edu. Participating states are highlighted, making it easy for users to navigate from state to state and get data from a combination of states or from just one area.

to read the Sept. 2010 Florida Grower article on the newly added FloridaMarketMaker.