FMC Awards Nine Educational Mini-Grants to Farmers Market Associations

      Posted On: January 13, 2010

This winter, the Farmers Market Coalition awarded mini-grants of $500 each to support educational events for farmers market managers and producers in early 2010. Take a look at our nine very deserving grant recipients, and the unique events their awards will support:January

Missouri Farmers Market Association

On January 23, the Missouri Farmers Market Association holds its annual market manager training day in Cabool, Missouri. The training day, with representatives expected from more than 20 small and medium sized markets, will help subsidize travel and lodging costs for attendees with its FMC grant.

Maryland Department of Agriculture

The 2010 Farmers Market Conference on January 26 will convene around 100 market managers in Annapolis, Maryland for a day of networking and educational sessions on EBT systems, SNAP coordination, innovative marketing, and regulatory issues. The Maryland Department of Agriculture will to use its grant to support the travel costs and honorarium for its keynote speaker, Diane Eggert of the Farmers’ Market Federation of New York.

Washington State Farmers Market Association (WSFMA)

WSFMA’s 2010 Conference, “Raising the Canopy Together,” will be held January 29-30 at Renton Technical College. The conference will allow approximately 200 market staff, board members, and vendors to convene in one place and learn, network, and collaborate. This year’s conference plans to include sessions on managing new farmers markets, FMNP and WIC, season extension, internet marketing, vendor recruitment, and more. WSFMA plans to use its grant to support travel expenses for conference presenters.


Kansas Rural Center

On February 1, the first-ever Kansas Farmers Market Manager and Board Conference in Topeka, with hands-on workshops covering topics such as Rapid Market Assessments, SEED studies, small town markets, vendor and volunteer recruitment and retention, social media, and vetting vendors. FMC’s grant will support travel for Darlene Wolnik of, the keynote speaker for the event.

South Carolina Association of Farmers Markets

The South Carolina Association of Farmers Markets will host a market management workshop in Columbia, South Carolina this February. Guided by experts from South Carolina Extension, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, and a certified public accountant, the event promises to give market managers a boost in their grant application, public relations, food safety, business, and other in-demand market, operations, and governance skills. FMC’s grant will help cover meals, materials, and presenter stipends for the event.

Oregon Farmers Market Association (OFMA)

On February 26, OFMA will hold its annual Market Managers Forum, giving Oregon market managers the opportunity to converge and share market management tips and ideas. The next day, OFMA will host a market manager training track at Oregon State University’s all-day Small Farms Conference. The training track will cover topics like food safety at farmers markets, starting and maintaining healthy markets, and implementing and marketing EBT tech. OFMA plans to use FMC’s grant for space rental and travel scholarships to Corvallis, Oregon for both of these events.


West Virginia Farmers Market Association (WVFMA)

From March 2-4, WVFMA is helping West Virginia University’s Extension Service host its annual Small Farm Conference in Morgantown, West Virginia. The conference will cover topics such as beginning farmer workshops, vegetable production, market management, agri-tourism, and value-adding. FMC’s grant will support travel costs and conference fees for newly organized markets and WVFMA members.

The Farmers Market Management Network

In only its third year of operation, the Farmers Market Management Network of Ohio is partnering with the Ohio State University South Centers and the Ohio Department of Agriculture to present Ohio’s first statewide farmers market conference on March 4 and 5. Funds from FMC will help sponsor online and DVD video coverage of conference presentations for viewing by market managers and vendors across the country, as well as travel costs for keynote speaker Dru Montri.

Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA)

MIFMA will hold its 3rd Annual Market Manager Boot Camp in East Lansing, Michigan on Tuesday, March 9. The day-long boot camp will provide intensive market management training for over 100 market managers through roundtable discussions, networking, and break-out sessions. MIFMA will use its FMC funds to develop and implement online registration for the event.

Support for the Information Marketplace Education & Training Mini-grants is provided by the USDA AMS’ Farmers Market Promotion Program. For more information about any of these events, and many others, check out FMC’s event calendar online.  FMC member organizations can post their events free of charge.