Let’s Make National Farmers Market Week Local

      Posted On: May 21, 2018

by Dar Wolnik | darlene@farmersmarketcoalition.org

FMC Program Associate Allie Vrtachnik has been working closely with the USDA AMS team on materials and activities for 2018 National Farmers Market Week (NFMW), updating citations and graphics for markets and state associations, and organizing potential in-person market events for officials to attend during that week. The primary message for 2018 is how farmers markets support farmer and community prosperity, which offers a lot of choice in how markets and market partners define that message, including sharing economic data on sales, highlighting positive production impacts or even detailing the number and quality of civic engagement opportunities made possible through markets.

As hopefully everyone knows, this preparation culminates in a proclamation by the Secretary of Agriculture at the kick off of NFMW, detailing how farmers markets accomplish that objective. The proclamation offers media outlets and decision makers the opportunity to spread our message and to visibly support their markets that week and throughout the year. (FMC tracks the use of the declaration and of markets’ use of the FMC and USDA materials throughout the week on social media and through other communication channels so do share that with us once the week is over!)

Recently, after noting some requests from markets on the FMC listserve, Allie suggested to the FMC team that we add a local version of the USDA proclamation for municipalities to adopt as a resolution during that same week. This seemed like such a good idea that the staff decided to create a template and to offer some tips for getting this done at the local level:

The idea is simple: send the template to a local leader, ask for this to happen during NFMW (August 5-11), and offer names of market leaders (including market farmers) that can be present to accept the resolution. Even better would be if elected officials can be convinced to offer the resolution at a market which is a great way to show off some of the market’s impacts that may not be known to your local officials. Does your market have first-time growers at the market? How about SNAP access? Maybe you do a POP program for kids? Varieties of goods only offered by local growers?

For media reasons, it would be best for the resolution to happen at the beginning of the week to have the highest number of opportunities for the images and information to be included in that week’s news cycle. For that reason, your Saturday market may not be the best choice and also because officials may not be available for a Saturday morning event. Once the municipality agrees to offer the resolution, use this press release template to alert all media the week before the event.

And let us know! Email Allie Vrtachnik at allie@farmersmarketcoalition.org

[Click here to get the NFMW proclamation template]