Ohio’s Senior Farmers’ MarketNutrition ProgramParticipating Farmer’s Manual2018

Ohio’s SFMNP Participating Farmers’ ManualAttachment PTable of ContentsIntroduction . 3Purpose of Program .3Local Partners .3Senior Eligibility .3Definitions . 4How the Program Works . 5Coupon Issuance .5How Coupons are Used .5Summary of How to Accept Coupons . 5General Role of AAA .6General Role of Distribution Sites .6General Role of Participating Farmers .6How to Become a Participating Farmer . 6What a Farmer Receives Upon Signing Up . 7Responsibilities of Participating Farmers . 7Publicizing the SFMNP .8Complaint/Compliment Process .9Compliance Visit Procedure .9Non-Compliance Procedure .9Sanctions .11Sanction Procedure . 11Farmers Appeal Procedure of Adverse Actions . 11Civil Rights Complaint Procedure . 12FormsCivil Rights Complaint/Grievance Form . 14Sample Coupon.15Sample Invoice .16Ohio’s SFMNP Compliance Tool . 172

Ohio’s SFMNP Participating Farmers’ ManualAttachment PIntroductionThe Ohio Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) Farmer’s Manual contains instructions forfarmers to meet the requirements of the program. Completion of this training and signing of the SFMNPagreement with the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) and the Ohio Department of Aging (ODA) authorize thefarmer to participate in the SFMNP. If there are any changes to this program, participating farmers will benotified by the AAA. ODA and AAA appreciate participating farmers for their efforts to improve thenutritional status of older adults. If there are any questions regarding participation in the SFMNP, pleasecontact (name) at (phone number).Purpose of ProgramThe purpose of the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) is to improve the nutritionalhealth of low-income seniors and to increase business for local farmers. The program is funded by theUnited States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to increase the provision of fresh fruits, vegetables,herbs and honey to eligible seniors.Local Partners(Name of AAA) currently operates a Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program in (county/ies) bypartnering with (provider name/s) at the county level.Provider/sCounty/ies ServedCOAAA – Linda Gillespie, 614.645.3860LifeCare Alliance – Molly Haroz, 614.437.2861Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Licking, Madison,Union and PickawaySenior Eligibility for the 2018 ProgramAnyone who is 60 years of age or older, at the time of application, has an annual income of 185% orbelow poverty and resides in a county served by the local SFMNP is eligible for the program. Theeligibility for the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program is subject to monitoring and future audits.3

Ohio’s SFMNP Participating Farmers’ ManualAttachment PDefinitions“Farmer” means an individual who grows and sells produce at farmers’ markets or roadside stands andwho does not exclusively sell produce obtained from another person or entity, such as a “wholesaler.”“Wholesaler” means a person, business, or corporation that is in the business of selling food it does notgrow.“Locally grown” means produce grown in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania or WestVirginia.“Supplemental Produce” means “locally grown” items on the authorized produce, herb and honey listpurchased or obtained by a participating farmer from another farmer who grew the “supplementalproduce”. “Supplemental produce” does not include anything purchased or obtained from a store or othertype of “wholesaler.”“Authorized Fruits Herbs, Vegetables and Honey” are fresh, locally grown fruits, herbs, vegetablesand honey that are eligible to be purchased with AAA Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Programcoupons. An eligible food means only fresh, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs andhoney for human consumption. Eligible foods may not be processed or prepared beyond their naturalstate except for usual harvesting and cleaning processes. Fresh Vegetables: asparagus, beans (green or snap), beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts,cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, corn on the cob, cucumbers, eggplant, greens (all), kale,kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, onions, parsnips, peas, peppers, potatoes, radishes,rhubarb, rutabagas, spinach, squash, tomatoes, turnips, and zucchini. Fresh Fruits: apricots, apples, berries (all), cantaloupes (whole), cherries, grapes, melons(whole), peaches, pears, plums, pumpkins, and watermelons (whole). Fresh Herbs: basil, chives, cilantro, dill, garlic, horseradish, lovage, marjoram, mint, oregano,parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme. (The herbs cannot be in a potted plant or be dried.) Honey: comb, cut comb-liquid honey, naturally crystallized honey, Kosher/wild honey, unflavoredhoney sticks.Note: Citrus fruits (i.e., lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruit, and tangerines) and tropical fruits (i.e.,bananas, pineapples, and mangos) cannot be purchased with AAA Senior Farmers’ Market NutritionProgram coupons. These fruits are not grown in this region. Coupons cannot be used to purchase eggs,nuts, wild rice, popcorn; dried herbs, fruits, or vegetables (such as prunes, raisins, sun-dried tomatoes,and dried chili peppers); or baked goods or processed foods, such as jams, apple butter, apple cider,and maple syrup. No flavored, whipped, pasteurized or infused honey. No potted plants or potted herbsor vegetable plants can be purchased with the coupons.“Proxy” or “personal shopper” means a person selected by a homebound SFMNP senior topick-up or otherwise acquire coupons and make produce purchases for the senior. The proxymust provide additional information on the application and both the senior and the proxy mustsign the application.4

Ohio’s SFMNP Participating Farmers’ ManualAttachment PHow the Program WorksCoupon IssuanceEligible seniors will receive ten, 5.00 coupons. The coupons will have an expiration date. Coupons willbe valid for the dates as indicated on each coupon. Coupons can only be redeemed by authorizedfarmers who sell specific produce and honey at farmers’ markets or roadside stands. The program willend October 31, 2018, or when all USDA funds are expendedHomebound eligible seniors may designate a proxy or personal shopper to obtain and redeem coupons.The participating senior will need to sign the application as will the proxy. The proxy will be required tosupply additional information about him/herself. The proxy will need to return the application and willneed to obtain the coupons. The proxy will be responsible for obtaining the produce for the participatingsenior; however, it is the senior who is ultimately liable and accountable for the coupons.How the Coupons are UsedA sample coupon is at the end of this manual. Coupons can only be redeemed by an authorized farmerwho sells specific produce and honey at farmers’ markets or roadside stands. A sign indicating thefarmer is participating in the 2018 Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program must be posted.Participating farmers collect coupons in exchange for fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs andhoney. No change is to be given. No taxes are to be charged. Seniors or proxies are to be charged thesame prices, or less, as other customers. Coupons cannot be used to purchase eggs, nuts, wild rice,popcorn; dried herbs, dried fruits, or dried vegetables (such as prunes, raisins, sun-dried tomatoes, anddried chill peppers); baked goods or processed foods, such as breads, jams, apple butter, apple cider,maple syrup; or any potted plantsQuick Summary on How to Accept Coupons1. Verify that the foods to be purchased appear on the current Ohio SFMNP Authorized produce,herbs and honey list and are locally grown.2. Ask the individual for the SFMNP coupons to be redeemed.3. Verify the valid dates on the coupon and that they were issued for the county you are authorizedfor, if applicable. Note the expiration dates and the time period indicated on the coupon. Anycoupon redeemed after the valid time period, will not be honored for payment.4. Total the dollar value of foods selected by the senior or proxy. Remember, no change can begiven to the senior if they do not spend the entire value of the coupon. Help the senior selectenough produce to equal the value of the coupon.5. Place your name or stamp in the space provided on the coupon.6. May be required to indicate produce selected on back of coupon.Coupon redemption is limited to items produced by a “farmer” on his land. This may include land heldunder lease or license, provided that the “farmer” who leased the land carries out the production (e.g.cultivation, planting, tending, and harvesting). However, an authorized “farmer” may accept SFMNPcoupons for fresh produce, herbs and honey used to supplement his own produce, provided the“supplemental produce” was grown in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania or West Virginia;appears on the authorized produce and herb list and honey; and was purchased or donated from afarmer that grew the “supplemental produce.“ Farmers’ may not accept SFMNP coupons for“supplemental produce” that was purchased from a store or other type of “wholesaler.5

Ohio’s SFMNP Participating Farmers’ ManualAttachment PGeneral Role of AAA1. Oversee the entire program ensuring all guidelines of the program are in compliance.2. Monitor farmers’ markets and roadside stands for compliance.3. Monitor distribution sites for compliance.4. Provide training and technical assistance.5. Oversee local SFMNP partner, if applicable.General Role of Distribution Sites*1. Distribute brochures and informational flyers about the program.2. May distribute nutrition education information.3. Distribute a list of authorized, participating farmers to all seniors and proxies.4. Distribute application forms and assist seniors or their proxies, as needed, in completing theSFMNP application.5. Distribute the coupons, verify senior’s eligibility for the program, and have seniors sign a CouponDistribution Log upon receipt of coupons6. If senior is either ineligible or there are no more coupons to distribute, complete the letter ofeligibility/ineligibility and give to senior. The latter is important if wait list will need to bemaintained. Also complete the senior log which collects the senior’s name, address, phonenumber and wait list status.General Role of Distribution of Coupons by Mail1. Some SFMNPs manage distribution of coupons through the mail. (AAA SFMNP either explain ordelete if not applicable)General Role of Participating Farmers1. Collect coupons from seniors or proxies of the program in exchange only for fresh, locally grownitems on the authorized produce, herbs and honey list.2. Submit coupons prior to the deadline on the coupon to (provider/AAA) for payment.3. Train employees to follow the guidelines as set forth by the program.4. Post the required sign indicating you are a SFNMP provider.How to Become a Participating Farmer in the SFMNPTo become a SFMNP participating farmer, the following criteria must be met:1. One must be a farmer as defined on page 4 of this manual and sell locally grown items thatappear on the authorized produce, herb and honey list on page 4 of this manual. One cannot be awholesaler, as defined on page 4.2. To participate in the 2018 SFMNP, training is mandatory for new farmers or any farmer who didnot participate in the 2017 SFMNP. Training is recommended, but not mandatory, for farmerswho participated in the 2017 SFMNP.3. A 2018 signed agreement and W-9 must be on file with the AAA.6

Ohio’s SFMNP Participating Farmers’ ManualAttachment PFollow and comply with the guidelines and responsibilities as set forth by the program and theSFMNP Participating Farmers Manual.4. Provide information to the AAA about the stand’s name, location, hours of operation, a list of selfproduced items, and a list estimating the number of rows by feet or acreage in which the farmeruses to grow the produce or herbs sold to seniors or proxies in the SFMNP.What a Farmer Receives Upon Signing UpUpon receiving a signed agreement from a farmer, the local provider will give the farmer the following:1. A copy of the invoice for submission of coupons.2. One poster or table tent for each stand to show participation in the 2018 Senior Farmers’ MarketNutrition Program. AAA will provide one per each stand participating in the program.Responsibilities of Participating Farmers1. Provide only fresh, locally grown items on the authorized food list to seniors or proxies of theprogram at farmers’ markets or roadside stands as defined in this manual.2. Clearly mark or post current prices, including sale prices, directly on or near all produce.3. Clearly mark the produce that is, and that which is not, fresh, locally grown items on theauthorized produce and herb list and honey. (For example, if you purchase peaches fromCalifornia, please mark the peaches as California peaches.)4. Provide eligible foods to seniors or proxies at the same price or less than is charged to othercustomers. Offer seniors and proxies the same courtesies as are extended to other customers.5. Permit coupons to be redeemed only for locally grown items on the authorized produce and herblist and honey. Coupons cannot be used to purchase nuts, wild rice, popcorn; dried herbs, driedfruits, or dried vegetables, (such as prunes, raisins, sun-dried tomatoes, and dried chili peppers);baked goods or processed foods, such as breads, jams, apple butter, apple cider, maple syrup;flavored, whipped, pasteurized or infused honey; potted plants, or to purchase anything not grownin Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania or West Virginia.6. Coupon redemptions are limited to items produced by a farmer on his/her farm. This may includeland held under lease, provided the farmer who leases the land carries out the production.However, an authorized farmer may accept SFMNP coupons for fresh produce to supplement hisown produce, provided the supplemental produce was grown in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana,Kentucky, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia; appears on the authorized produce and herb list andhoney; and was purchased or donated directly from the farmer that grew the supplementalproduce.7. Coupons cannot be accepted for any foods purchased from a wholesaler. For purposes of the2018 SFMNP, a “wholesaler” means a person, business, or corporation that is in the business ofselling food it does not grow.8. Only accept 2018 coupons within their valid period as stated on the coupons. Coupons will bevalid for a particular time period. Any previous years coupons accepted and submitted will not bereimbursed.9. No rain checks can be offered to seniors or proxies. Produce, herbs and honey shall be given toseniors or proxies at the time coupons are redeemed.10. Each coupon is for 5.00. No change is to be given back to seniors or proxies and no taxes are to7

Ohio’s SFMNP Participating Farmers’ ManualAttachment Pbe charged to seniors or proxies.11. Each coupon must be signed or stamped by the farmer. Coupons will not be accepted forpayment without the farmer’s name or stamp on each coupon.12. When submitting coupons:a. Ensure all coupons have been signed or stamped by the farmer.b. Place only the same time period of coupons in the same direction to aid in the processingand the payment of the coupons. Do not include any coupons from the period before, orany previous year’s coupons, as these will not be reimbursed.c. All coupons submitted must contain a completed, signed SFMNP Invoice (sample in formssection) and be addressed to (Partner name, contact person, address).13. Check each coupon for the valid end date (usually July 31 and/or October 31) which is printed onthe coupon. The coupons must be postmarked or hand delivered to (the provider) on or beforethe 10th calendar day following the valid end date.14. Absolutely no Thru July 31st coupons will be accepted for payment after the August 10th calendarday for submission and no Thru October 31st coupons will be accepted after the November 10thcalendar day for submission. You are encouraged to submit earlier and multiple times during themonth.15. Post the sign, provided by the AAA, indicating the farmer is participating in the Senior Farmers’Market Nutrition Program. Please post at all stands. AAA will provide one poster for each stand.16. Be courteous and help the seniors or proxies as much as possible. Help seniors select 5.00worth of produce.17. The program will end October 31st or when all USDA funds are expended. AAA will not issuecoupons in excess of available funds.18. Reimburse the AAA for any coupons improperly redeemed or submitted for payment in violationof the SFMNP guidelines.19. Provide wholesome quality produce, herbs and honey. If a senior returns a product due to poorquality, replace it accordingly.20. Work with the AAA to detect any abuses or misuses in the redemption of SFMNP coupons.21. Comply with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture non discrimination policies thatprohibit discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.Publicizing the SFMNP1. The participating farmer will acknowledge the support of the USDA, ODA and AAA, wheneverpublicizing the work under this program. To this end, the farmer must include in anypublication or web site regarding the SFMNP an acknowledgement in substantially the formset below:“This project has been funded at least in part with Federal funds from the U.S. Departmentof Agriculture and the support of the Ohio Department of Aging and the (AAA name).”2. The participating farmer will include the following short non-discrimination phrase, “equalopportunity provider” anywhere the SFMNP is mentioned. It must be printed in a type size thatis no smaller than the rest of the publication.8

Ohio’s SFMNP Participating Farmers’ ManualAttachment PComplaint ProcessThe following process shall be used to file any complaint:1. Complaints shall be submitted in writing to the AAA using the AAA complaint form.2. A name, address, phone number, and signature must appear on the complaint form for thecomplaint to be addressed.3. The AAA shall review the complaint and follow-up with the complainant within 30 calendar days ofreceipt of a signed complaint form.Compliment ProcessDocumenting compliments is encouraged.Compliance Visit ProcedureVisits will be made to authorized farmers to ensure all procedures for AAA’s Senior Farmers’ MarketNutrition Program are being followed. These visits will be made by an AAA, a local representative orODA and documented on the SFMNP Farmers’ Market Compliance Tool. (Copy of the tool is in the formssection.) If you have any problems, please inform the representative at that time, or contact (Partnername and phone number).Farmers with no violations sign the compliance tool. The reviewer takes the compliance tool and files it.Noncompliance ProcedureProceduresA. There are three categories of noncompliance practices that may result in sanctions:1. Category I violations are single findings of noncompliance for one practice listed on theFarmers Compliance Tool, items 1 through 11 (and 18 though 20 if applicable). Thesesingle items are considered to be less serious violations and result in less seriousconsequences. The second finding of non-compliance for the same practice shall result ina fine.2. Category II violations are two or more findings of non-compliance on the Farmers’Compliance Tool, items 1 through 11. The second finding of non- compliance for the sametwo practices shall result in a fine.3. Category III violations are considered more serious areas of noncompliance. Practicesare listed on the Farmers’ Compliance Tool, items 12 through 16. The unnumberedrequirements described below are practices consistent with the level of seriousness ofother Category III violations. The first finding of one Category III practices shall result in afine, suspension or disqualification depending on the seriousness of the noncompliantpractice.9

Ohio’s SFMNP Participating Farmers’ ManualAttachment P4. The numbering system below corresponds with those used on the Farmers’Compliance Tool.The following will be reviewed during the compliance visit:Category I issues are single citation of one of the following:1. Is the farmer displaying SFMNP poster?2. Is the farmer selling only eligible locally grown foods in exchange for coupons?3. Is the farmer posting current prices on or near the produce?4. Is the farmer aware he cannot issue a rain check?5. Is the farmer courteous to seniors or proxies?6. Does the produce offered appear wholesome?7. Is the farmer accepting coupons outside the validation period?8. Has the farmer trained employees regarding SFMNP?9. Is the farmer providing incentives to SFMNP seniors or proxies?10. Is the farmer knowingly providing false information about the SFMNP to seniors?(example: Secret Shopper)11. Farm visit: Does visible crop yields match contract inventory?Optional Category I violations are local program requirements which the AAA mayapply to their SFMNP farmers:18. Is the farmer circling items purchased on the back of the coupon?19. Is the farmer requiring the SFMNP senior or proxy to countersign the couponupon completion of the transaction?20. Is the signage present to distinguish between local vs. non-local vs. wholesaleproduce?Category II issues are multiple citations of Category I violations at the time of onevisit.Category III issues are citations of one or more of the following:12. Is the farmer providing change for a SFMNP transaction?13. Is the farmer accepting coupons for cash?14. Is the farmer charging SFMNP seniors or proxies more for produce than othercustomers?15. Is the farmer selling produce in a SFMNP area without first entering into anagreement with the SFMNP partner or obtaining SFMNP farmer reciprocalagreement?16. Is the farmer cashing coupons for seniors or proxies for any reason?The following are considered Category III violations but are not on the Farmers’Compliance Tool. Failing to truthfully complete a SFMNP agreement; Seeking restitution from a senior or proxy for a coupon(s) not paid by the AAA; Failing to cooperate with SFMNP agency request to inspect your farm site; Failing to notify the AAA of disqualification from the WIC Farmers Market NutritionProgram; Being cited for third instance of same Class I violation (see compliance tool); Being cited for second instance of same Class II violations (see compliance tool);or Selling produce in a SFMNP area without first entering into an agreement with theSFMNP partner or obtaining SFMNP farmer reciprocal agreement.10

Ohio’s SFMNP Participating Farmers’ ManualAttachment PB. Sanctions are as follows:1. Fines 25: repeated Class I violation 50: repeated Class II violation 100: Class III violation 250: repeated Class III violation2. SuspensionsFor the following month If the farmer seeks restitution from a senior or proxy for a coupon(s)not paid by the AAA;For multiple months (AAA will specify number of months depending on thetime left in the season.) If the farmer has a third Class III violation.3. DisqualificationsFor the balance of the season If the farmer fails to notify the SFMNP of disqualification from the WICFMNP. If the farmer fails to cooperate with SFMNP agency request to inspecthis/her farm. If the farmer fails to truthfully complete a SFMNP agreement.4. Permanently If the farmer has been disqualified permanently by the WIC FMNP. If the farmer is found to be guilty of a civil rights violation. If the farmer is found to be guilty of any crime, not including a trafficviolation. If the farmer has discriminated against senior or proxy.(#17. on the SFMNP Farmers’ Compliance Tool)C. Farmers will receive a description of the practices that have been found not to be incompliance which place them at risk for sanctioning.1. Farmers will be notified in writing within ten calendar days of a sanctionable practice.2. Farmers have the right to appeal any sanction. Should a farmer appeal a sanction, theAAA’s appeal process shall be followed.Farmers Appeal Procedure of Adverse ActionA farmer may appeal an action of the AAA denying its application to participate, imposing a sanction, ordisqualifying it from participating in the SFMNP. Expiration of a contract or agreement shall not besubject to appeal.The AAA must provide farmers a reasonable period of time to request a fair hearing. Such time limit mustnot be less than 30 calendar days from the date the agency mails or otherwise issues the notice ofadverse action.An adverse action may, at the agency’s option, be postponed until a decision in the appeal is rendered.In a case where an adverse action affects a local farmer, a postponement is appropriate where theagency finds that the farmer would be unduly inconvenienced by the adverse action. In addition, theState agency may determine other relevant criteria to be considered in deciding whether or not topostpone an adverse action.11

Ohio’s SFMNP Participating Farmers’ ManualAttachment PThe agency hearing procedure shall at a minimum provide the farmer with the following: Written notification of the adverse action, the cause(s) for the action and the effective date of theaction, including the agency’s determination of whether the action shall be postponed if it isappealed and the opportunity for a hearing. Such notification shall be provided within areasonable timeframe established by the agency and in advance of the effective date of theaction. The opportunity to appeal the action within the time specified by the agency in its notification ofadverse action. Adequate advance notice of the time and place of the hearing to provide all parties involvedsufficient time to prepare for the hearing. The opportunity to present its case and at least one opportunity to reschedule the hearing dateupon specific request. The agency may set standards on how many hearing dates can bescheduled, provided that a minimum of two hearing dates is allowed. The opportunity to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses. The opportunity to be represented by counsel. The opportunity to review the case record prior to the hearing.An impartial decision maker, whose decision as to the validity of the agency’s action shall rest solely onthe evidence presented at the hearing and the statutory and regulatory provisions governing the SFMNP.The basis for the decision shall be stated in writing, although it need not amount to a full opinion orcontain formal findings of fact and conclusions of law.Written notification of the decision in the appeal must be sent within 60 calendar days from the date ofreceipt of the request for a hearing by the agency. When a farmer appeals an adverse action (and ispermitted to continue in the SFMNP while its appeal is pending) it continues to be responsible forcompliance with the terms of the written agreement or contract with the agency.If the agency decision is rendered against the farmer and the appellant expresses an interest in pursuinga further review of the decision, the agency shall explain any further state level review of the decisionand any available state rehearing process. If neither is available or both have been exhausted, the Stateagency shall explain the right to pursue judicial review of the decision.Civil Rights Complaint ProcedureAny civil rights complaint filed against a vendor/farmer will be followed under civil rights guidelines asestablished by the SFMNP. A form is attached for this type of complaint. The form may be used

The Ohio Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) Farmer's Manual contains instructions for farmers to meet the requirements of the program. Completion of this training and signing of the SFMNP agreement with the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) and the Ohio Department of Aging (ODA) authorize the farmer to participate in the SFMNP.