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Applications are now open for local commercial farmers to seek assistance in expanding their operation and production of more organically grown fruits and vegetables.

SALT LAKE CITY — Applications are now open for local commercial farmers to seek assistance in expanding their operation and production of more organically grown fruits and vegetables.

The applications, which can be found at slcfarmersmarket.org, are due Friday, Feb. 16.

The city launched the Local Food Microgrant Program last year in partnership with Urban Food Connections of Utah, the nonprofit organization that runs the Downtown Farmers Market, Rio Grande Winter Market and Tuesday Harvest Market.

The grants help farmers access technology, education, tools and equipment to grow more sustainable produce.

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“Our goal is to increase the amount of healthy, locally grown, organic food available in Salt Lake City,” Mayor Jackie Biskupski said in a statement. “By providing small grants to farmers, we are also supporting local, ecologically sustainable agriculture and the city’s economy.”

In 2017, the program had 48 applicants requesting a total of $329,076 in funding over the course of two grant cycles. To date the program has awarded $29,488. The third funding round will award $15,000.

Potential projects may include installation of sustainable farming techniques such as waterwise irrigation systems, increased produce storage capabilities and solar panels.