Category Archives: Blog

Meet the future of your local food system

I’d like to invite you to join me in an exciting new venture that will positively impact both your business and the future of New York’s local food system.

 

The Farmers Market Federation’s goal is to strengthen our farmers and farmers markets. As consumers migrate to more convenient ways of buying food, we know we need to be competitive in order to empower our local food system and economy. That’s why we’re launching the FreshFoodNY app.

 

The app is a virtual farmers market that allows consumers to pre-order from New York farmers, and pick up their orders at farmers markets. By making local food available online, the app will enhance your current farmers market presence, while simultaneously driving new consumers into our markets – prompting them to invest their food dollars in your businesses.

 

The webinar is an introduction to our virtual farmers market and will explore how markets and farmers can engage in this exciting opportunity we’ve created for you. Our technology partner, Crave Food Systems, will be participating.

 

When: Monday, Nov. 27, 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Registration: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2203985738104588803

 

I’m looking forward to taking this first step toward the future of New York’s food system together.

Sincerely,

Diane

Get Ready for the Implementation of the NYS Farm to Food Bank Legislation

New York State farmers are well known for their generous donations to Food Banks, food pantries and other forms of food rescue. In 2016, farmers donated over 13 million pounds of food, the equivalent to 10 million meals, according to NYS Farm Bureau. But up until this coming January, farmers gave those donations without getting any kind of tax credit for them. NYS has enacted new legislation, the Farm to Food Bank Bill, allowing farmers to tax credit of up to 25% of the wholesale value on foods donated to food banks. This new law takes effect on January 1, 2018. That means farmers will be incentivized to donate even more food to food banks, further reducing hunger in New York State.

 

 

 

 

The Farmers Market Federation of NY is sponsoring a webinar, Tuesday, November 28, from Noon to 1pm. The webinar will help farmers understand this new legislation and how they can get tax credits on their food donations in 2018. Peter Ricardo, Product Donations Manager, Food Bank of Central NY, works with farmers all across the Central New York region, bringing in tons of food donations to the food bank and its sister organizations. Peter’s workload is poised to increase as this new legislation takes effect. And he is happy to see farmers get the tax credits they deserve and to see the Food Banks and food pantries stocked with healthy, nutritious and locally grown food.

Peter will be our guest speaker discussing the Farm to Food Bank Bill. He will explain how the process
works for farmers and will be sure each farmer on the webinar will leave fully prepared to follow the
proper procedures to claim their tax credits for all food donated in 2018. Following his presentation,
Peter will host a Q & A session to be sure all questions are answered.

The webinar is sponsored by the members of the Farmers Market Federation of NY and is free to all who
wish to attend. Registration, however, is required. To register, go to
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7309857151916738819

Once registered, you will receive a confirmation with a link to the webinar. You will also receive
reminders the day before and an hour before the webinar with your link to the live presentation.

For any questions, please contact the Federation office at 315-400- 1447 or email
[email protected]

NYS Farmers Market Managers Conference Survey

The 2017 NYS Farmers Market Managers Conference was scheduled for November 7 – 9, in Binghamton, NY. However, due to low registration numbers, the conference was cancelled. At this time, the Farmers Market Federation of NY and its Board of Directors would like your input to help us understand why registrations were low so that we can make adjustments for future conferences.

We are also looking for input into how future educational programming for market managers should be delivered, as well as those issues that are foremost on your mind.

Please take a few minutes to respond to this short survey on the Farmer Market Managers Conference and future educational programming. Your input is valuable as we sort out our next steps for future conferences and other educational events.

Use this link to respond to a completely anonymous survey.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NYSConferenceSurvey

Please respond by November 22, 2017.

Thank you,

Diane and the Federation Board of Director

NYS Farmers Market Managers Conference: Two Weeks to Go!

We are just 2 weeks away for the NYS Farmers Market Managers Conference. Have you registered yet?
Are you still on the fence? Let me tell you that this is one of the most relevant, information packed
conferences we have hosted in a while. The conference centers around the issue that we have heard
over and over again. Not just from New York market managers and farmers, but from markets all across
the country. Farmers markets are experiencing a downward trend in customer participation and that
means lost sales for farmers.
Each session at the 2017 conference is aimed at helping market managers better understand our
customers and our competition. Once we have a clear understanding, we will have an easier time
making the adjustments necessary to reach new customers, retain our current customer base and
increase sales per customer. In the end, we know that farmers markets should be at the top of the local
food system. But our competition is savvy and have been able to temporarily knock us off that top spot.
This conference will help put us back on top! So don’t miss out on this important event!

You can find all the information you need to attend at http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/overview/.

The agenda, registration and online payment and hotel information are all available here.
WE also have some new information from our Extension hosts at Broome County Cooperative Extension.
Our conference will take place at the new Ag Development Center in the Taste NY building across the
driveway from the Extension offices. Registration, vendor tables and breaks will be held in the atrium.
Coffee and tea will be offered in the atrium and tasty snacks and treats can be purchased in the Taste NY
store. Remember, everything in the Taste NY store is local so your purchases will be supporting local
farmers and food producers.
Plenary sessions will be held in the Ag Development Center, a beautiful new facility. Breakout sessions
and lunches will be held in the Broome County Regional Farmers Market, across the driveway. This new
facility hosts a year round farmers market, a community kitchen and classroom. Also, our evening meal
on Tuesday night will be held in the Farmers Market.
Our Monday Meet and Greet will be an opportunity for us all to get to know one another before
conference sessions start Tuesday morning. The Meet and Greet will be held in the Farmers Market. We
are asking everyone to bring something to share from your market; cheese, baked goods, veggies and
dip or whatever. Sharing your market’s foods will be your ability to show off your market and use as an
ice breaker to meet others who share your passion for farmers, markets and local food.
To see the new facilities at the Broome County Extension campus is worth the trip alone. But add that to
the wealth of information from conference sessions and from networking with market managers across
New York State and beyond, makes the 2017 Farmers Market Managers Conference a not-to- be-missed
event.
Looking forward to seeing everyone in Binghamton, November 7 -9!

Fall means it’s time for the 2017 Farmers Market Managers Conference!

It’s only 5 weeks until the 2017 Farmers Market Managers Conference! It seems our summer has flown
by and Fall is here!
This year’s conference is taking a hard look at the issues we have been hearing about all year – farmers
markets are losing consumer share and farmers are losing sales. Why is it happening and what can we
do about it? Well there are lots of issues that are causing consumers to shop elsewhere for local food. In
no particular order, we see
 Oversaturation of markets allows shoppers to spread their food dollars over multiple markets,
rather than concentrating their shopping at one market. Is it cost-effective for farmers to
participate in multiple markets to reach the same customer base as before?
 Too many options for consumers to buy local food? Who are our competitors, what can we
learn from them and bring back to our markets?
 Markets have not kept up with current consumer shopping trends. How can we understand
today’s consumer and how can we reach them? What can we do to market our markets relevant
to today’s consumer?
These are just some of the issues that may be driving consumers to alternative sources for local food.
You can learn how to respond to these issues, how to build your market into one that is more what
today’s consumers want in a shopping venue, learn how market competition is appealing to consumers
and draw out valuable lessons to improve your market and help your farmers succeed.
These are just some of the valuable lessons you’ll get from the 2017 Farmers Market Managers
Conference: “Creating Customer Friendly Markets”. The conference will be hosted by Cornell
Cooperative Extension in Binghamton. We’ll be meeting in their auditorium, sharing meals in the
Broome County Regional Market on the Extension Campus, and visiting the Taste NY store that is new to
their campus. In addition, several tours to local farms will give you insight into the farmers side of
farmers markets. These tours are both fun and educational!
Plan to join us November 7 – 9 at the annual Farmers Market Managers Conference. Registration is now
open, you can pay online or send a check to the Federation office. Registration is online at
http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/conference-registration- 2017/
We have a contract with the Fairfield Inn by Mariott, which is a 2 minute walk from the Extension office.
Hotel registration is open until October 20 with a discounted rate of $109. After that the rate goes up.
So be sure to get your registration in by then! Find hotel information at
Hotel-information.pdf.
We’re looking forward to seeing you all in Binghamton, November 7 through 9.

2017 Conference

Scholarships Available for 2017 Farmers Market Managers Conference,

 

We’re sorry but the 2017 Farmers Market Managers Conference has been cancelled

November 7 – 9

Fall is in the air this week. Temperatures are in the 70’s during the day and 50’s during the night. It
makes me start thinking about Fall events – like apple picking, hayrides and the annual Farmers Market
Mangers Conference. Yes, that’s right! The annual conference is coming up. We are scheduled for
November 7 – 9 in Binghamton, NY at the Cornell Cooperative Extension complex.
Have you made your plans yet? If you haven’t been to this conference in the past, you have an
opportunity to apply for a scholarship to help cover the expense of registration. This is your opportunity
to attend a highly informative conference, meet other managers from across the state, learn new ideas
and techniques and bring home lots of great ways to improve your market for the 2018 season. Any NY
farmers market manager can apply!

To apply, download the application at .

Complete the application and return to the Federation at
[email protected] But hurry! The deadline for application is September 25.
If awarded a scholarship, your registration fee for all three days will be covered, including lunches,
evening events and tours. If you need to stay overnight you will be responsible for your own hotel
accommodations. We have made arrangements at the Fairfield Inn to provide conference attendees a
reduced rate Hotel-information.pdf).
Scholarship applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria:
1. The proposed plan for implementing the lessons learned at the conference.
2. Need – i.e. making sure there is conference representation from the full diversity of markets
around the state – small, medium and large markets, as well as urban, suburban and rural.
Our goal is to encourage new attendees to the conference, giving them the experience and the
education. So preference will be given to applicants who have not previously attended a conference.
The decision will be at the discretion of the conference scholarship committee and all awardees will be
notified by October 13 th . You will have until October 20 th to accept the scholarship and register for the
conference.
No scholarships will be awarded for partial attendance. You must attend all 3 days.
Don’t delay! Get your scholarship application in today!
For a look at the full conference agenda, go to Agenda-updated- 5.10.17.pdf.
Looking forward to seeing you in Binghamton, November 7 -9.

2017 Market Manager Training Conference “Creating Customer Friendly Markets”

Farmers Market Manager Training Conference “Creating Customer Friendly Markets” November 7-9, 2017

The Farmers Market Federation of New York announces its annual Farmers Market Managers Training Conference, “Creating Customer Friendly Markets.” The conference will be co-hosted by the Farmers Market Federation, Cornell Cooperation Extension of Broome County and the Broome County Regional Farmers Market and will be held at the Cooperative Extension offices in Binghamton, NY, November 7 – 9th. The conference will focus on helping farmers markets revitalize their markets to reflect the needs and desires of today’s customers. Recognizing that the world around us is changing at a rapid pace means that markets must continually reinvent themselves to remain relevant to today’s customers and maintain their position at the top of the local food system. However, recent reviews of markets sales and customer participation numbers have shown that we are experiencing a downward trend for farmers markets. This conference will build market managers understanding of customer trends, learn who are competition is and why they are being successful, and then offering techniques that can help to reverse this negative trend.
Each session of the conference builds on the overall theme of assisting farmers markets to recreate their position in their local food system, restore and build customer participation and improve farmer sales and profits. Speakers include experts in promotion and marketing, leaders in consumer research, farmers market competitors and managers who have been successful at keeping their markets relevant to today’s consumers and sales and profits for their farmers continue to grow. Each speaker will have powerful messages to conference participants to bring back to their own farmers market.
The 2017 Conference will feature daily tours to farms and local food businesses, including: Heller Farms, Farmhouse Brewery, Dutch Hill Creamery and Harvest Ready, a controlled atmosphere ag-facility. Each location was chosen to showcase the Southern Tier agriculture and food landscape and to give market managers a guided look into farm production and marketing.

Another new feature of the 2017 Farmers Market Managers Conference is a scholarship program to encourage market managers across New York State to take advantage of the lessons and networking that happens at the conference. To access the conference scholarship application, go to nyfarmersmarket.com/overview. But hurry, deadline for scholarship applications is September 25.
The Farmers Market Managers Training Conference is your opportunity to boost your skills as a market manager; network with others across the state and beyond; share ideas, suggestions and questions; and even make new friendships. Register now for the 2017 Farmers Market Managers Conference: “Creating Customer Friendly Markets.”
The full conference program, agenda and hotel information can be found at nyfarmersmarket.com/overview.

For more information, contact the Farmers Market Federation of NY at [email protected] or call 315-400-1447.

Veterans: Enjoy the Bounty of New York!

The Federation would like to say thank you to all of our service men and women by sharing the harvest of fresh, healthy and locally grown food from over 700 farmers markets across the state. New York state local farmers are second to none in the production of nutritious and flavorful foods. Whether tomatoes, strawberries, chicken or milk, farmers pack up their farm fresh products and head to the farmers market to bring their food to the community.

Many of the state’s farmers markets participate in the SNAP program, making farmers markets accessible to everyone in their community. SNAP users can enjoy a boost in buying power at many of the farmers markets by receiving incentive coupons to be used on additional food at the market. Some programs, such as FreshConnect and Health Bucks, give a 40% boost by distributing a $2 coupon for every $5 in SNAP benefits spent at the market. A program in Western NY offers a 100% boost up to $20 to encourage SNAP usage at farmers markets.

In addition, New York State distributes FreshConnect coupons through many Veterans Centers and allows vets to shop at farmers markets with these coupons, without being tied to SNAP.

We encourage you to use this Military Flyer to let the veterans in your community know about local farmers markets and the benefits provided by shopping local and direct from farmers!

Join the Federation: Become a Member Today!

It’s that time again!

We are trying something a little different with membership this year: We’ve added an online payment option through our website. This gives you the opportunity to renew your membership instantly—And save on postage! Follow the link below to renew your market membership for 2017:

http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/become-a- member/

If you’d prefer to renew by mail, click here for a downloadable PDF that you can mail to our office.

We also encourage you to add or update your market information on our website. Please go to http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/add-your- market/. If you already have a listing, click here to search for existing entries, please follow the instructions to edit your listing. This site is used by consumers, farmers and potential market sponsors. Keeping your information accurate and up-to-date is important.

The Federation had a busy and exciting 2016. Not only did we have our first graduates from our new Professional Managers Certification Program (FMMPro), but we also had the opportunity to partner with other states who were interested in offering FMMPro to their market managers.

It was also the first year that we used dollars directly from membership payments to fund a scholarship program for our annual conference. This is a great example of how your annual support directly supports members of the farmers market community!

And there’s more!

For additional information on what we accomplished in 2016, please check out our Annual Report.

Your support of the Federation allows us to focus on empowering farmers, growing markets, and strengthening communities. We thank you in advance for your continued support and look forward to working with you in 2017!

As always, feel free to contact Executive Director, Diane Eggert ([email protected]) or Co-Presidents, Laura Biasillo ([email protected]) and Melinda Meddaugh ([email protected]) if you have any questions or suggestions.

For any questions regarding membership, contact our Office Manager ([email protected]).

Open Today: 2017 Conference Scholarship Application Period!

The Federation will be hosting our 2017 annual conference in Binghamton, New York on November 7th through the 9th. This year, we will be focusing on creating customer friendly markets. Click on Conference Agenda to view a detailed schedule for this year’s conference!

We are excited to announce that we will be offering conference scholarships again this year! These scholarships provide a wonderful opportunity for smaller markets with lower budgets, those who may not have attended a conference in the past, and people from further away who may have to spend money to travel to the conference to be able to attend. To take advantage of this opportunity, simply click on the Scholarship Application to download and print the file and fill it out. Email it back to us at [email protected] no later than September 25th to be considered.

If awarded a scholarship, your registration fee for all three days of the event will be covered, including lunches and tours. If you need to stay overnight you will still be responsible for your own hotel accommodations. Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  1. The proposed plan for implementing the lessons learned at the conference.
  2. Need – i.e. making sure there is conference representation from the full diversity of markets around the state.

Since our goal is to encourage new attendees to the conference, preference will be given to less experienced managers, those representing small and/or emerging markets, and applicants who have not previously attended a conference. The decision will be at the discretion of the conference scholarship committee, and all awardees will be notified by October 13th and then must accept by October 20th. There will be no scholarships for single day/partial attendance, so please make sure you’ll be able to stay for the entire conference if selected.

Please help us spread the word – Send this link to anyone you know who might benefit from attending our conference for the first time! Those of you who have attended the conference in the past understand the value that you get not only from the sessions, but also from the fellowship of being surrounded and supported by all the market managers from around the state who each have different experiences and lessons to share.

We hope to see you all this November 7th to 9th in Binghamton!

 

 

Attention NYS SNAP Farmers Markets!

The Farmers Market Federation of NY will, once again, be conducting a social media campaign this market season to encourage SNAP consumers to visit their local farmers markets, but we need your help! This campaign will be entering its third year and grows each year. While we have used Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter in the past, this year we will be concentrating on Facebook. To date we have 25,532 followers on our page, https://www.facebook.com/snaptomarket/. Some of the things we have posted about in the past are information on local food including recipes, hints and tips on using fresh food, information on using SNAP at farmers markets, as well as other pieces of interesting tidbits!

In 2017, our Facebook focus will be to highlight SNAP farmers markets across the state but we can’t do that without a little help from you! Please send an email to the Federation office, [email protected], with information about your market so that we can compile a market profile to promote you on the Snap to Market Facebook page. No need to write the article, just provide basic information and our campaign manager will prepare the profile. The information we are looking for includes:

  • Market Name
  • Market Location
  • Market days/hours/season
  • Basic information about your market and what you think makes your market special
  • Special events and dates
  • What SNAP incentives you have at your market that will increase a SNAP customer’s buying power
  • Anything additional that you want to add
  • Contact name, phone number and email (not for publication, but for follow up purposes)
  • Please send your market information ASAP so we can begin our campaign for the 2017 season and help you promote your market.

 

2017 Tote Bag Program

The Farmers Market Federation of NY partners with Premier Marketing to offer a tote bag program. Tote bags can be ordered direct from Premier Marketing each Spring. These tote bags are reusable fabric totes that help you to promote your market. Contact Rick Dosedlo at 800-427-6767 Ext. 26 or email [email protected]

Premier Marketing provides a wide range of promotional materials to help you reach new customers and promote your market. They are supportive of farmers markets across the country and provide a percentage of their farmers market sales back to the National Association of Farmers Market Nutrition Programs, a national organization that supports and lobbies for the WIC and Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Programs.

Please read or download the two page PDF file about the program below:

 

Farmers Markets First: Webinar Series

How to Keep Farmers Markets at the Top of the Local Food Chain

Today, farmers markets across New York face more competition than ever before. Customers seeking local food are being courted by grocery stores attempting to mimic the market, meal delivery kit services, community supported agriculture (CSAs), and even other farmer markets. What can you do as a farmer or producer, or as a farmers market manager? The secret is building a bond with the customer – and building value that can only be found at the farmers market. This webinar series will provide tips for making farmers markets tops in the consumer’s mind with actionable, low-cost, highly efficient strategies you can put into play for the 2017 season.


Webinar 1) Strengthen the Bond to Boost Sales

No pressure, but YOU are a key selling point for customers! Only at a farmers market can shoppers get “face time” with multiple farmers – and get to know who grows their food. With practical strategies and sales secrets, you can build up that farmer-consumer bond and your bottom line.

View the Recorded Webinar:

 

 


Webinar 2) See and Be Scene: How to Create Community Around Local Food

Over 1,000 market managers were surveyed by the USDA in 2016 and 64% reported that hosting community events boosted the amount of customers coming to the market. Get ideas for affordable, easy-to-launch community events and activities that attract shoppers – and keep them coming back.

View the Recorded Webinar:

 

 


WHEN: March 29, 12:00-1:00pm Presentation, 1:00-1:30pm Q&A

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Farmers Market Managers

REGISTRATION LINK:
http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/createcommunity


You must register separately for each session.

FMM Pro graduates, you can earn 1 continuing education credit by participating in both webinars!

Time for the 2017 Annual Meeting!

The Farmers Market Federation of New York announces today that its Annual Meeting will take place Wednesday, March 15, 2017 from 12-2pm via Webinar.

The Annual Meeting will feature Jason Evans, Associate Professor of AgriBusiness at SUNY Cobleskill, with a keynote address:  “Grants for Farmers Markets: Where Are They and How Do You Write a Winning Proposal.”

The business meeting, led by Jo Ellen Saumier Co-President of the Federation, will introduce the Federation board members and staff, followed by a financial report by Federation Treasurer, Steve Feeney.

Laura Biasillo, Co-President of the Federation, will present “Federation in Review: A Look Back at 2016.” It’s been a busy year at the Federation and this will be your opportunity to learn what has been happening and what new resources are available through the Farmers Market Federation of NY.

The meeting will conclude with the election of board members and an introduction to the online voting process.

Join us at for the Farmers Market Federation of NY’s Annual Meeting to learn how we’ve continued to help farmers markets reach their full potential, prepare farmers to maximize their opportunities, and bridge connections within the community.

Registration is free, but required to join the webinar. Use the following link to register:  http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/annual-meeting/.

Can We Reverse the 2016 Trend of Decreased Consumer Activity at Farmers Markets?

The summer of 2016 was marked with moderate to severe drought across New York State. Farmers struggled to have salable crops to bring to the farmers market. With the devastation that drought brings to farmers, they also reported decreased customer counts and sales while participating at markets. With few exceptions, market managers and farmers all reported a decrease in customer counts. Some farmers reported sales down anywhere from 20% to 70%. Many speculations were made on what caused the downturn: media hype regarding the impact of the drought on local farmers, over-proliferation of farmers markets in many areas of the state cannibalizing each other’s customer base; increasing options for consumers to purchase local reducing their dependence on farmers markets to access local food, customer response to the “inconvenience” of farmers markets, or any other, as yet, unknown causes.

The Federation, in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension, is purposing a project to provide markets with the tools they need to build a solid business foundation for the market, learn what customers think about farmers markets and provide a toolkit of information to assist farmers markets in maintaining and growing their customer base and restoring and increasing farmers sales at the markets where they are participating.

To help craft the project to reflect the needs of markets and their participating farmers, we need your help. We have created an online survey for your input. The responses will help us draft a grant proposal to fund the project. Please respond no later than Friday, February 17.

Farmers, please use the link here to reach a survey designed specifically for farmers market farmers and vendors.                https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NRWMCYS

Market Managers, organizers and those involved in managing markets, please use the link here to reach a survey designed specifically to learn your needs and interests.  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NFVQYYD

FIRST NEW YORK STATE CERTIFIED FARMERS’ MARKET MANAGER

Graduates New Online Course That Helps Grow New York’s Farmers’ Markets

Nearly Four Dozen Market Managers Are Enrolled in the Course and Working Toward Certification

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and The Farmers’ Market Federation of NY, in partnership with SUNY Cobleskill and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, developed the first ever Farmers’ Market Managers Professional Certification Course in NY State: FMM PRO.  Since the program was launched in March 2016, 44 market managers have enrolled in the course and are working their way toward certification. Today, the Department and Federation are celebrating the first graduate of the program, Reed Proper, who is excited to lead the Old Forge Farmers Market in the new year.

The Director of the Farmers Market Federation, Diane Eggert, said, “We’re very excited to see market managers take advantage of the FMM Pro and the chance to professionalize the role of market managers, forging new partnerships, building customer relationships and providing greater opportunities for our state’s farmers. Congratulations to Reed Proper from the Old Forge Farmers Market on his achievement as the first Certified Farmers Market Manager in New York State.”

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Our farmers’ markets are not only a wonderful source of fresh produce and local agricultural goods but also education for consumers—a place for them to connect with the farmers who are supplying their food.  By providing this valuable training to market managers, we’re helping to provide the tools they need to successfully operate and grow their markets.  The Department congratulates the program’s first graduate, Reed, and encourages other market managers to pursue their certification.”

SUNY Cobleskill Associate Professor, Agricultural Business Management Jason R. Evans, Ph.D. said,The FMM Pro certificate program provides a tremendously valuable service to professionals in New York’s direct-to-consumer food sector.  Market managers can utilize the principles and best practices gleaned from this program to run better markets, which means more efficient and less costly marketing efforts for producers and better experiences for consumers that translate to strong demand.”

The goal of FMM Pro is to grow and professionalize New York’s farmers’ markets by providing expert training to those who run markets, making them certified market managers. New York State is now home to some 646 farmers’ markets, up nearly 35 percent from just five years ago.

Reed Proper, Old Forge Farmers Market Manager and the first graduate of the program, said, “I liked being able to complete the program at my own pace and at times that was convenient and also not having to leave home. And at 80 years old, it made me feel young at heart! With the knowledge gained from the farmers market managers certification program, I can create a more efficient market, have a greater nutritional assistance program for the local needy and have a better chance of qualifying for grants.”

The program, funded by Governor Cuomo’s FreshConnect Program, created New York State’s first ever market manager certification designation, which is formally recognized through the SUNY educational system and gives participants a credential they can use to garner support and enthusiasm for their markets.  FMM PRO is a part of the Governor’s ongoing efforts to open new markets and increase opportunities for New York State agriculture producers.

FMM PRO’s curriculum includes 22 unique training modules on the topics of Nuts and Bolts of Managing Markets, Reaching Out to the Market Community, and Building Systems. Each module consists of a video-based lesson, additional resources, a homework assignment, and an online quiz. The lessons are hosted on Cornell University’s online learning platform, which allows students to move through the lessons at their own pace, and receive feedback from instructors as they complete each unit.

Program participants who complete the full curriculum will graduate and receive a certificate, earning the title of Certified Market Manager. Completing the course will help market managers better organize, administer, and promote their markets. More specifically, as an FMM PRO Certified Market Manager, graduates of the program will:

  • Be fully knowledgeable in today’s best practices for managing farmers’ markets
  • Learn tactics to expand and optimize their farmers’ market
  • Be equipped to build successful relationships with farmers and shoppers
  • Be able to use their certification to leverage funding and support for their market

To learn more and to register for FMM Pro: Farmers’ Market Managers Certification Program and become one of the first NYS Certified Farmers Market Managers:

Check out the Curriculum, or

Sign up for FMM PRO

For more information on FMM Pro, visit http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/fmmpro or contact [email protected] or [email protected].

As soon as your payment is verified, you will receive a link and password to begin the course.

You can also view or share a copy of this press release.

FMM Pro: Have You Signed Up Yet?

fmm-pro-banner-transparent

 

Have you heard about FMM Pro?

If so, have you enrolled??!

If you were waiting for the end of market season to really have the time to delve into this training, now’s your chance!

If you haven’t heard about FMM Pro, read the FAQs below and then sign up here.

 

So what is this FMM PRO thing I’ve been hearing about?

FMM Pro is New York State’s First (and one of only a handful in the nation) Farmers Market Management Certification Program. We put a lot of work into this and we’re really proud of how it turned out! It was born of a partnership between the Farmers Market Federation of NY, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County and SUNY Cobleskill and funded by NYS’s Fresh Connect Program. FMM Pro is a new online curriculum that has been created to train and certify farmers market managers in New York State. The course includes all aspects of managing and growing a successful farmers market and can be taken online from the comfort of your home in your spare time because it is asynchronous, self-paced, and you have an entire year to complete it. The course is offered online through the Moodle.com learning platform under the sponsorship of Cornell University.

Great. What kinds of information does it cover?

The curriculum will consist of 22 workshops covering 3 basic topics:

  1. Nuts and Bolts of Managing Markets
  2. Reaching Out to the Market Community
  3. Building Market Systems

You can read the detailed curriculum here.

What do I get when I complete the course?

Program participants who complete the full curriculum will receive a certificate signed by the three partnering agencies and will have earned the title of Certified Market Manager. As a FMM PRO Certified Market Manager, graduates of the program will:

  • Be fully knowledgeable in today’s best practices for managing farmers markets
  • Learn tactics to expand and optimize their farmers market
  • Be equipped to build successful relationships with farmers and shoppers
  • Be able to use their certification to leverage support and funding for their market

Are there any requirements to become certified?

Yes. To become certified you must:

  1. Complete the full series of sessions within the 3 modules on moodle.com.
  2. Complete all homework assignments for each section and receive a passing grade. You may resubmit an assignment if you receive a fail the first time.
  3. Complete all quizzes for each section, scoring a minimum of 80%. You have two chances to complete the quiz to receive the minimum score.
  4. The full curriculum must be completed within 12 months, although the program was designed to be completed within 6 months.

How long is my certificate valid for?

Your certification will remain valid as long as you maintain 2 credits bi-annually as Post-Certification training. Post certification training can be either one of the following items:

  1. Participate in the annual NYS Farmers Market Managers Conference each year, attending the sessions for Post-Certification Credit; OR
  2. Participate in Market Manager Training Webinars (minimum of 2 annually) as offered by the Farmers Market Federation of NY

Sounds Awesome! What’s the cost?

$200 for the first registrant per market or market organization

$100 for each additional registrant from the SAME market or market organization

Note: You MUST register and pay for all people at the same market organization at the same time in order to receive the discount.

 

Now that you know what FMM Pro is all about, you can:

Check out the Curriculum, or

Sign up for FMM PRO

 

As soon as your payment is verified, you will receive a link and password to begin the course.

Still Time for Last-Minute Registrations (But Act Fast)

We’ve had a rush of registrations over the past few days as human nature is to procrastinate. So we are expecting a great showing at conference this year! If you’ve missed our recent posts about the benefits of attending, you can peruse them over at the blog.

If you’re one of the procrastinators and forgot to submit your registration, don’t worry. We ARE still accepting walk-in registrations up until the day of conference but you’ll want to act fast. From this point forward you will need to pay by check. The fees will be as follows:

  • Full Conference – Member – $225
  • Full Conference – Nonmember – $275
  • Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday Only – Member – $100
  • Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday Only – Nonmember – $115

As soon as you decide you are coming, please fill out the registration form here: http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/2016-conference-registration/ and do not mail your check in as we won’t receive it in time. Please bring your check with you. You’ll receive an email as soon as you register with the location and directions. You CAN also pay your market membership at the conference to qualify for member rates, if you have not already. Membership fees are as follows:

  • 1 to 10 vendors – $100
  • 11 to 24 vendors – $150
  • 25 to 99 vendors – $200
  • 100+ vendors – $300

It’s important to fill out the registration form if you are a walk-in so we know you are coming (and can make your nametag and make sure we have food available for you). Please contact [email protected] with any questions or issues. You can view the registration page and agenda below.

2016 Conference Registration

2016 Conference Agenda

Session Spotlight – Thursday

Our final day of conference, Thursday November 17th, is a shorter one, but we have still packed it full of great information that you can take with you before you go. If you missed our other session spotlight articles for Tuesday and Wednesday you can read them on the blog.

But for now, let’s talk about Thursday.

Morning Session

For our morning session on Thursday, we will delve into the topic of Food Preparation: What Managers and Farmers Should Know. Managers from around the state are often asking us questions such as “What is required to have tastings or cooking demonstrations at our market?” “What if our vendors want to showcase a recipe made with one of their farm-fresh ingredients or launch a specialty value-added product?” Our featured speaker, Shannon Prozeller from the NYS Food Venture Center and the Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship NCEFE will enlighten us on some food business basics as they apply to markets including critical things to be aware of before starting a food processing business. She will also talk about the resources available through NCEFE for those wanting to delve deeper into the topic.

Coffee Break & Continue Morning Session

We will take a brief break from 11:00 to 11:15 to chat with other managers and do some networking while we enjoy some coffee and snacks. Then Shannon will continue her presentation before we head out on the final tour.

Tour

Those of you travelling South or East to return home may wish to pack up the car before you leave because this tour will take us 30 minutes southeast of the hotel to Canticle Farms. Canticle Farm, a CSA farm, will host the group from 1:30 to 3:00 after which we will end the day early to allow you plenty of time to travel safely back home with all the knowledge (and new friends) gained during the conference. The farm tour here should be really interesting – Canticle Farm is in their 16th year and they were actually founded by the Franciscan Sisters of Alleghany. They are a nonprofit farm and guided by their mission to practice Earth friendly habits in being a stewards of the land, as well as connecting people to each other, the community and and the land. They use their farm to teach other farmers as well as children and members of the community, and donate 20% of their annual crop to 12 food pantries to help ensure food security for all.

Farewell

At 3:00 pm we will say our goodbyes and head back to our respective towns and cities, prepared to plan for the market season ahead and energized with new contacts, ideas, and resources.

 

If you haven’t yet registered, there’s still time! Conference is less than 2 weeks away though so you’ll want to submit your registration and reserve your room (if needed) ASAP using the links below:

 

Conference Registration

 

Hotel Info