Cluster Implementation Update

By: Darlene Wolnik       Posted On: December 20, 2021

Back in April of 2021, I shared in a blog post how the FMC Strategic Plan prioritized FMC to Support FM Operators/Networks in Capacity-Building and to become an active anti-racist organization and ally. As a result of working towards these two priorities, we redesigned what was previously called our Training and Technical Assistance (T&TA) Program to the Farmers Market Support Program

That new program description and title has our work “clustered” under 4 areas:

  • Networking peer connections for problem-solving and facilitating one-on-one assistance for operators or network leaders
  • Resource search or development 
  • Analysis of farmers markets or of the systems that affect them
  • Support for product development of appropriate tools and technology necessary for farmers market operators

In October of 2021, the FMC team participated in its annual Internal Work Week, a series of internal meetings dedicated to strategic planning and internal operations. During this time we devoted one session to the discussion of these FM Support clusters. The questions covered in the Internal Work Week session included:

Are the names and organizing statements correct? If not, what is missing? And what work will be included? What metrics would best measure this cluster?

The FMC team used Jamboards to collaborate on those questions and to schedule work sessions over the winter to finalize the draft plans and organization for each cluster. The next step will be to present those refined descriptions to our board of directors in later winter and then reorganize the website and staff activities under each of them.

FMC Staff used Jamboards to gather thoughts about how organizing our work through clusters could work and be best organized to meet the needs our our membership and partners.

We believe this will help FMC create structures that promote a shared, collaborative approach to our work, orient staff around an area of focus rather than a single funding source, help those we serve better understand the roles of FMC staff, offer a pathway for more market leaders to be funded to provide support to their peers, and increase the opportunities to work in teams to streamline our organizational administration.

Any questions or feedback that you might have on this approach can be sent to More soon.



This blog post was written by Darlene Wolnik, FMC’s Farmers Market Support Program Director.