Tag Archives: Market News

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

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

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!

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.

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!! 🙂

 

New EBT Cards Rolling Out Starting 8/1

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You’ll soon start to see a new look to the SNAP EBT cards in New York State. Beginning in August, new and replacement cards will feature an updated design as shown on the left, but the new cards will continue to work exactly the same as before. Retailers and farmers markets will continue to accept old and new SNAP cards simultaneously until all of the old cards are eventually replaced with new ones. This transition will happen over a period of time as some people will continue using the old cards until they need replacing at which point they will be issued a new card with the new design. Be on the lookout for these new EBT cards at your market and spread the word to your farmers and other nearby market managers about the new card design. You may also need to change your signage when you order new signage if you used any images of EBT cards on your signs.  See this flyer from USDA for more info.

Updated Vendor Permit Requirements

rules-1339917_1280Do you have a vendor selling bedding plants at your market? Did you know that they are required to have a Nursery Growers License from the NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets? Making sure your vendors have all required permits is an important part of market management: That’s why we’ve put together a checklist for market managers.

We’ve recently updated our Market Mangers’ Checklist for Permits required for Farmers Market Sellers. This list is an excellent resource that will help you understand the various permits, licenses, and certificates that are required for sellers of commonly found products at your markets. While this checklist isn’t exhaustive, it serves as a general guideline to point you in the right direction. You’ll find a list of inspection agencies and contact information at the end of the checklist if you need more information or guidance. We hope this list will make it easier for you to keep up-to-date at your market. Please share this list with your vendors and staff as needed. We hope you’ll find this tool useful for your markets!

http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/wp-content/uploads/Vendor-Permit-Requirements-Revised-June-2016.pdf