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Satellite training sessions for producers participating in SFMNP to begin


Fresh fruit, vegetable, and honey producers who were not enrolled in a previous Nebraska Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program will have a chance to join this year's program by completing training offered by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. SFMNP, reauthorized in the 2008 farm bill, provides low-income senior citizens with coupons that can be exchanged for fresh produce and honey at farmers' markets, roadside stands, and u-pick operations.

In accordance with USDA requirements, producers who are not certified, but wish to accept SFMNP coupons this year, must attend a NDA training session. Newly-trained producers will receive their vendor certification number from NDA, which is necessary for producers to cash 2009 SFMNP coupons.

Through the use of satellite video conferencing, NDA hopes for broad participation in the training sessions. The training sessions will last approximately one hour. Producers need to contact NDA by April 17 to reserve their seat. Reservations and questions should be directed to NDA at 800-422-6692. A complete listing of training sessions is available on the NDA website at www.agr.ne.gov.

SFMNP coupons will be distributed beginning in June. Senior citizens interested in receiving coupons should contact their local Senior Center or the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, State Unit on Aging, at 800-942-7830.

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