Gail Desjardins, from Livermore, buys some produce from May Klug, of Chirp Creek Farm at the Auburn Farmers Market on Wednesday, August 14, 2019. Credit: Andree Kehn | Sun Journal via AP

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s farmers’ markets are getting a boost from a federal government program designed to increase turnout at the markets.

The Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets has been awarded $160,111 for its “Workplace to Market Project” through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmers’ Market Promotion Program. Republican Sen. Susan Collins and independent Sen. Angus King said the funding will help the federation “discover new, innovative ways to increase farmers’ market turnout, helping to strengthen Maine’s farming sector.”

One of the goals of the project is to use workplace incentives with employers to increase patrons of farmers markets, the senators said. Another is to create new tools that help farmers’ markets grow partnerships with businesses. It’s also designed to promote the markets themselves.