(a) In general
In order to promote the establishment and operation of direct marketing from farmers to consumers, the Secretary shall provide that funds appropriated to carry out this section be utilized by State departments of agriculture and the Secretary for the purpose of conducting or facilitating activities which will initiate, encourage, develop, or coordinate methods of direct marketing from farmers to consumers within or among the States. Such funds shall be allocated to a State on the basis of the feasibility of direct marketing from farmers to consumers within that State as compared to other States and shall be allocated within a State to the State department of agriculture and to the Secretary on the basis of the types of activities which are needed in the State, as determined by the Secretary. The activities shall include, but shall not be limited to–
(1) sponsoring conferences which are designed to facilitate the sharing of information (among farm producers, consumers, and other interested persons or groups) concerning the establishment and operation of direct marketing from farmers to consumers;
(2) compiling laws and regulations relevant to the conduct of the various methods of such direct marketing within the State, formulating drafts of enabling legislation needed to facilitate such direct marketing, determining feasible locations for additional facilities for such direct marketing, and preparing and disseminating practical information on the establishment and operation of such direct marketing; and
(3) providing technical assistance for the purpose of aiding interested individuals or groups in the establishment of arrangements for direct marketing from farmers to consumers.
(b) Development of farmers’ markets
The Secretary shall–
(1) work with the Governor of a State, and a State agency designated by the Governor, to develop programs to train managers of farmers’ markets;
(2) develop opportunities to share information among managers of farmers’ markets;
(3) establish a program to train cooperative extension service employees in the development of direct marketing techniques; and
(4) work with producers to develop farmers’ markets.
(c) Consideration of consumer preferences
In the implementation of this section, the Secretary shall take into account consumer preferences and needs which may bear upon the establishment and operation of arrangements for direct marketing from farmers to consumers.