Category Archives: Blog

ANCA Grant Opportunity


The Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) has launched a new grant program to fund projects that are expected to strengthen local farms and food businesses.

Farmers, food entrepreneurs, food hubs and cooperatives within ANCA’s 14-county service area are invited to submit Local Farm Grant requests of $2,500 to $45,000 for projects that address gaps in the food chain supply chain, increase the opportunity for value-added processing or secure business development services.

The Local Farm Grant is being funded in full by anonymous donors who participated in ANCA’s fourth annual Bike the Barns event on September 29, 2019. Inspired by the farms along the route, they committed $100,000 to go directly to local farms through these grants and challenged ANCA’s community and match that amount to support the nonprofit’s mission.

Proposals will be accepted until November 30, 2019.

More information about the Local Farm Grant program and how to apply can be found on ANCA’s website. To contribute to the Local Farm Challenge, click here.

FMM Pro Revision Announcement

FMM Pro Revision Announcement

FMM Pro: Farmers Market Manager Certification Program to offer online workshops this Fall and Winter.
Fayetteville, NY – The Farmers Market Federation of NY, in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County and the New York State Fresh Connect Program, is pleased to announce a revised and updated Farmers Market Managers Professional Certification Course FMM PRO. 

The FMM PRO course is a professional certification program for farmers market managers. The program teaches all aspects of running a farmers market. Managers use the program to ensure their markets are operating at top efficiency; ensure their partners, collaborators and funders that they have the skills needed to operate a successful market; and encourages investment in a market and their manager to support a professionally run market.

The FMM Pro program was instituted in 2015 and a number of market managers throughout New York State and beyond have graduated from the course and used the information to help them run a successful market for their farmers, their consumers and their community. But the environment has changed dramatically since 2015. We find ourselves fighting harder for market share against other venues for local food, a consumer base more focused on convenience and a climate that increasingly calls for risk management in all areas of the market.

FMM Pro is responding to the changes we face as farmers markets by updating the curriculum. New sessions have been added to the curriculum, as well as many of the sessions updated with new information and ideas. The new and updated sessions will be delivered by webinar this Fall and Winter and are free to join. If you are a graduate of FMM Pro, attending each session will provide you with 2 continuing education credits toward maintaining your certification. (See schedule below.)

To obtain certification, managers must take the online course, complete all modules; including the video presentation, homework assignment and quiz. Once a passing grade is obtained for all modules, the graduate will receive a Certificate of Achievement signed by the three partnering agencies in the program: Farmers Market Federation of NY, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County and SUNY Cobleskill. In addition, certified managers will need to earn 2 continuing education credits bi-annually by attending special sessions at the Federation’s annual Farmers Market Managers Conference and/or specified manager training webinars in order to keep their Certification active. 

All webinars are scheduled for Noon to 1:30pm and they are free to participate, but registration is required. You can register for each of the sessions here. 

Once the updated sessions are added to the online curriculum, each participant will receive a link to the online program to register for the full course.

FMM Pro Webinar Schedule

Programs and Services for
Farmers Market
Beth Irons
Sue Gardner Smith
Risk ManagementLarry Spilker
Jon Zeltsman
Branding and Marketing Materials
that Speak to your Customers
Lindsay Wilcox12/5
Fundraising & StabilityMargaret O’Neill
Jackie Farrell
Crisis ManagementJim Farr1/8
Nutrition Programs to Grow
Your Market
Taisy Conk
Jessica Douglas
Food Safety at Farmers MarketsCaroline Butard-Hunt
John Luker
Farmers Market FinancialsSteve Hadcock2/4
Conducting and Interpreting
Market Research
Laura Biasillo2/19

For more information, contact Diane Eggert at [email protected] or Laura Biasillo at [email protected].

FMM PRO is funded by a grant from Governor Cuomo’s Fresh Connect Program, as part of the Governor’s initiative to build bridges between Upstate NY and Downstate NY, as well as build connections between consumers and NYS agriculture. 

ADA Regulations | service animals

ADA Regulations | Service Animals

As the number of Emotional Support Animals – or ESAs – rise, so too do the questions of the legality of what businesses can do to prevent non-service animals entering their businesses, and whether they have the right to be in public places, such as Farmers Markets. Service Animals are certified working dogs that have the right to go anywhere that the public can go, including areas that sell or prepare food. ESAs do not have that same legal protection under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

Before we get started, however, we want to make some definitions clear:

  • ADA:
    • The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, or ADA, protects the rights of American citizens with a disability from facing discrimination.
  • Service Animal:
    • Service animals are defined as dogs (and rarely, miniature horses) that are individually trained to work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability.
  • Emotional Support Animal or Therapy Dog:
    • Any domesticated animal whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support by being present, though doesn’t perform a specific job or task and is prescribed by a mental health professional. The only requirement of an ESA is that the animal is well-behaved in public.

It’s important to note that service animals are considered working animals, and not pets, and are limited to canines and miniature horses. ESAs, however, are simply considered pets and can be any domesticated animal. An easier way to think about it is this: both types of animals replace the positions of humans. A service animal is dutybound to prevent injury or illness, the same as a doctor, nurse, or other professional may. An emotional support animal is just that – support, such as a friend or family member might provide.

Telling the Difference
The difficulty is telling the service animals apart from the ESAs. Service animals usually – but not always – wear a vest or some sort of identification marking them as a service animal. Vests and ID are not required by the ADA, the only requirements are that the animal must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animals work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices; for example, a dog serving an individual with PTSD may be off-tether, in order to better control the perimeter around their handler. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.

Where Service Animals Can Go
By law under the ADA, a service animal would be allowed anywhere the public is normally allowed to go, such as businesses, public spaces with a “no dogs allowed” policy, and medical facilities, including hospitals and EMS transport.

Where Emotional Support Animals Can Go
An ESA can be denied entry to any public or private space, just like any other pet, including places that sell and prepare food. The only rights protected by law for ESAs are the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act, which allows them to qualify for no-pet housing without a fee, and the Air Carrier Access Act, which dictates the accessibility requirements for aircraft.

What You Can Do
The ADA allows establishment owners to ask only two questions, and only if it is not obvious what service the animal provides. The two questions one can legally ask are:

  • Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
  • What work or task has this animal been trained to perform?

Therefore, a business can ask if the animal is required due to a disability and can ask what specific tasks they’ve been trained to perform. The handler’s duty is to answer the questions; if they decline to specify the animal’s tasks, or if the task is to simply provide emotional support, the animal can be denied entry.

There is one condition in which a business owner can expel even a service animal from their business. The handler is still responsible for the behavior of their animal, and if the dog is barking uncontrollably, growling, jumping on people, running away, etc., then the handler can be requested (and is required) to get their animal back under control. If they cannot or will not, the business owner has the right to ask them to leave if the animal poses a direct threat to the health and safety of people in the establishment.

What You Can’t Do
While the ADA allows businesses to ask the above two questions, the business owner cannot ask these questions if the need for the service animal is obvious. Examples include when a dog is guiding an individual who is blind or pulling a person’s wheelchair. They cannot ask about the nature or extent of a person’s disability, request the animal wear an identifying vest or tag or show that the animal has been certified trained or licensed as a service animal, and cannot ask that the animal demonstrate its ability to perform the task or work. Business owners also may not deny access or service to a service animal or their handler based on allergies or fear of dogs.

The ADA defines a service animal as an extension of its handler, and so businesses cannot treat them as two separate entities, nor any different from any other person. This means that they cannot be charged any extra fees or costs in relation to the animal. For example, they are permitted to stay in non-pet-friendly hotel rooms, in addition to not being charged a pet fee. However, if a business normally charges people for the damages they cause, they can charge the handler of the service animal for any damages that occur as a result of the animal’s being in the shop.

The laws that apply to where assistance animals are permitted to go do not actually require special licensing or registration of the animal. It is, however, a violation of the ADA if someone misrepresents an animal as a service animal. This is a crime in New York State and is punishable by a $250 fine and up to one year in jail.

What to Do If an Issue Arises
If you suspect an animal in your business is not a service animal, you can ask the two questions. If they cannot or will not answer them, and you can legally ask them to leave, they may be upset for being called out on their taking advantage of a loophole and threaten you or your business for being in breach of ADA. This becomes a case of being sure you’ve done your homework. Below you will find links to various brochures and articles. A suggestion from an ADA spokesperson suggests printing out a couple of those and keeping them on hand for situations such as this to show or to hand out.

When the person cannot nor will not answer which tasks the animal performs and you deny them entry, hand them a pamphlet and explain that you reserve the right to deny entry to any animal if they cannot specify the work or tasks the animal performs.

A few ways you can protect your business is to have a “No pets allowed except Service Animals” sign and have a written policy on Emotional Support Animals and be sure to follow it. In addition to these, the ADA hosts free webinars on many different subjects, which you can be informed of by subscribing to their email list on their website.


ADA | Service Animal Booklet
ADA | Frequently Asked Questions
ADA | Small Business Primer
Northeast ADA | Easy Fact Sheet
Northeast ADA


URGENT: USDA SNAP Notices Regarding Account Closures

URGENT: Have you gotten a notice from USDA about your SNAP account in danger of being closed?

USDA has adopted a new policy to close SNAP accounts where no SNAP benefits have been accepted within a three month period. This is especially problematic for seasonal markets and farmers in the SNAP program.

If you have received this letter, you must IMMEDIATELY call the SNAP Retailer Center, with the number on the letter, 1-877-823-4369. If you tell them you are seasonal, they will not close your account. But, you must call within 10 days of receiving your letter.

If you are having trouble convincing the Retail Center to maintain your SNAP account while you are in your off-season, please let the Federation know. We will do everything we can do on our end to keep your account from closing.

If you have already received the letter and have not responded within 10 days, or your account has already been closed, please contact the Federation office immediately. We will work on getting your account restored. Contact us at 315-400-1447 or email [email protected].

In the meantime, we do have calls into the appropriate people to see if we can keep seasonal markets and farmers from this policy. But until that happens, you will need to respond to these letters within their 10-day window.

Agritourism Ready by Ohio State

Ohio State Agritourism Ready Emergency Plan Development

Ohio State University has published a video on Emergency Preparedness for Markets (both on- and off-farm). You can check the video out below:

Also, check out their Agritourism Ready course, available here. It will walk you through the development of a flip chart type document that you can place in your markets.

Labor Road Show III

Ag Workforce Development Council’s
Labor Road Show III

All New York farm employers are affected by new laws that take effect beginning January 1, 2020! New York Labor Road Show III is your opportunity to learn about the changes and position your business for compliance and success in a very different environment.

Register Here or
call 315-433-0100, ext. 5595

Each day: 8:30am – 4:00pm
Cost: $55 per person, payable at the door

11/18Genesee Community College – Batavia Campus
Room T119 Lecture Hall, Conable Technology Building
One College Road
Batavia, NY
11/19The Lodge at Hidden Valley Animal Adventure
2887 Royce Road
Varysburg, NY
11/20Ramada by Wyndham
21000 NY State Rt 3
Watertown, NY
11/21Hilton Garden Inn Clifton Park
30 Clifton Country Road
Clifton Park, NY
11/22Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES
Conference Rooms 1, 2, 3
1879 West Genesee Street
Auburn, NY 13201
Featured Speakers:

Charles Palmer – Chuck is a go-to lawyer for complex cases involving OSHA, employment law, labor negotiations, independent contractor and joint employment matters. Clients rely on his years of experience in dealing with state and federal enforcement agencies to develop human resource, safety and environmental policies and practices that prevent problems and save them significant expense.

Joshua Viau – Josh works with a variety of national and local clients including employers in agriculture, manufacturing, construction, hospitality, and retail. He is the former Chair of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the Georgia State Bar and is active in several business groups. Josh has been selected to the Best Lawyers in America since 2017, and was recognized as a Georgia Super Lawyer since 2015 and Georgia Super Lawyer – Rising Star from 2006 through 2014.

Featured Topics:
  • Compliance with Wage and Hour Laws: Overtime and Day-of-Rest Requirements
  • Understanding Unions and Labor Organizing
  • Managing the Collective Bargaining Process
  • The Increasing Importance of Farm Supervisors
  • Sexual Harassment Prevention: Updates to the NY Law
  • Compliance Priorities and Enforcement Plans for 2020, NYS Department of Labor
  • Industry Quality Assurance Program Updates
  • Insurance Update: Disability, Paid Family Leave, and Employment Practices Liability, What is Available?

Ag Workforce Development Council Member Organizations
NEDPA, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Cayuga Marketing, AgriMark, Upstate Niagara, New York Farm Bureau, New York Vegetable Growers Association, New York Animal Ag Coalition, Agri-Placement Services, New York Horticultural Society, Dairy Farmers of America, Farm Credit East, Gray & Oscar LLC

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.



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



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

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.

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

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
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 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
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
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 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

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: 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 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, 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


You must register separately for each session.

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