Tag Archives: Local Markets

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

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!

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!

 

 

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.

Don’t Miss the Tuesday Deadline!

I hope everyone is having a productive Monday and a Happy Halloween! I know this time of year is busy for many of you as you tie up loose ends and prepare to close down your summer markets, but please remember that tomorrow is the deadline to reserve your hotel room and receive the conference discount. After that, normal room rates will apply  and because this conference is in such a beautiful location (see the image above), the normal rates are significantly higher. Please remember that even if you got a scholarship, you still need to book your room!

For those of you who have not yet registered for conference, you’ll want to do so ASAP but whatever you do, make sure to reserve your room by tomorrow! We will still accept conference registrations for a while longer, but fees are nonrefundable after the 4th. If you missed our recent articles that go into detail about what you’ll get from each day of conference, here they are again.

Monday Night

For those of you who plan to arrive Monday night to get settled in, please join us for a Pre-Conference Reception:

Join the Farmers Market Federation of NY on Monday, November 14 as we host a pre-conference reception in the lobby of the Holiday Valley Inn. The reception will be our launch into 3 days of workshops, tours and networking opportunities. Hors d’ Oeuvres and a cash bar will be open from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm to welcome everyone to the Annual Farmers Market Managers Conference.

Tuesday

Tuesday we will kick off the conference with speakers, tours, and our annual banquet in the evening. Read all about it here: http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/session-spotlight-tuesday/. If you have already bought your tickets for conference but did not purchase banquet tickets, make sure to return to the payment page and purchase banquet tickets – you do not want to miss this! Tuesday at 6:00 pm we will enjoy a local foods dinner with featured speaker Tom Rivers, author of “Farm Hands: Hard Work and Hard Lessons from Western New York Fields.”

Wednesday

On day two of conference, Wednesday, we will have a number of informational sessions as well as a second set of tours. Read the breakdown here: http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/wednesday-session-spotlight/

Thurday

Stay tuned later this week for a full walkthrough of the benefits of attending Thursday’s sessions. You can read all of our recent articles here or check out our popular article, 10 Reasons Not to Miss Conference

Join more than 60 managers from around the state who have already registered for conference for three days of networking, learning, local food and fun, and building our markets!

Reserve your space today at:

http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/conference-registration

Farmers Market Events: Music at the Market

Webermusic

Does your market hold market events to draw additional customers to the market and keep your existing customers entertained and coming back for more?

It’s that time of year where the weather is beautiful and produce is bountiful so take advantage and schedule some fun events at your market! Here is a great example of a market event to be held at the West Bloomfield Farmers Market. From their newsletter:

“The next two Fridays in August (8/19 & 8/26) WEBERMUSIC will be bringing their shakers and claves, tambourines & bells, and all sorts of other hand percussion instruments for budding young (and old!) percussionists to play along with us as we sing and play for a few hours.

We have plenty of parking, lots of shade and there is always a breeze so bring your friends & family, lawn chairs, and some eco-friendly bags if ya got ’em to take all your fresh fruits & veggies home, and come see what all the buzz is about.” They’ve also included a link to the event on Facebook where they’ve invited everyone so folks can RSVP and share the event with their friends: https://www.facebook.com/events/1283614505005446/.

Including the photo of the musicians really helps bring the event to life and helps customers picture themselves there, having fun listening to the music. The musicians are even bringing extra instruments so people can get really involved and play along. New customers will remember how much fun they had and return to the market even on days where there are no events, to buy more of the fresh, local produce.

So if you’re in that neck of the woods, head on down to this Friday and next Friday to join in on the fun. If you’re not local to West Bloomfield, use this event as an example for your market. Maybe your calendar of events is looking pretty sparse this year – time to spruce it up! Maybe you’ve scheduled lots of events but you’re forgetting to spread the word through newsletters, Facebook events, social media posts, and flyers posted at other local venues. Many of these promotion methods are cheap or free and events do not need to eat up a huge chunk of your budget so get creative with your market events.

Other options besides music can include children’s activities and crafts, festivals and art shows, cooking demonstrations and prepared foods sales, wine/beer/cheese/veggie/fruit tastings and samplings, baking/cooking competitions, fundraisers for a local charity, book signings, ethnic dancers or other performing artists, pet events etc.

Here’s are some additional resources to give you more ideas:

You are only limited by your imagination! And remember, just because you’re not having a special event that week doesn’t mean you can’t make the market into an event and publicize it through your newsletter and social media channels as well. A regular market is an event in its own right! Just list what some of the vendors will be selling and any special information relevant to that week’s market.

Thanks to the West Bloomfield Market and WEBERMUSIC for allowing us to share their event and photo. If your market is having a special event that you think would be a great example, please send a photo and description to [email protected] and your event might be featured on our blog as well! Happy planning!! 🙂