Announcing FMC's Annual Campaign: A Letter from the President

      Posted On: April 19, 2011

Dear FMC members and supporters,

It’s been a very long and busy winter! FMC’s Board Retreat in Washington, DC in January was a big success. In just one long day, and a couple of short ones, our board developed recommendations for bylaw changes to keep in step with our growth and established financial goals to keep FMC in service to farmers markets for years to come!  In cataloging our successes, we realized that FMC met directly with managers at farmers market conferences in more than a dozen states this past year (Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maine,  Minnesota, and Georgia just in the last three months!), not to mention representing markets at national conferences, policy roundtables, and other key events around the country.

MD Farmers Market Conf

Stacy Miller presents at the Maryland Farmers Market Conference in February 2010

Whether its webinars on insurance , understanding increases in SNAP redemption , researching health insurance needs, pushing for funding of wireless EBT in the 2012 federal budget, or FMC’s new collaboration on the Discover You CanSM program, there’s a lot of great work happening at FMC. Meanwhile, the board has been putting the final touches on our first Annual Spring Giving Campaign to raise the unrestricted dollars that mean the difference between survival and sustainability, and allow us to do much more than we even have room to tell you about in this issue of the market beet.

Here’s an example:  Earlier this month, two of our members, Leah Smith (Agricultural Institute of Marin in California) and Jan Walters (EBT Market Solutions in Iowa?) flew all the way to DC to join FMC’s Executive Director in meetings on Capitol Hill, where they shared the successes of FMPP and the importance of investing in SNAP/EBT technology at farmers markets. With FMPP set to zero funding in the next Farm Bill, continually reminding Congress about its impacts is critical.

Leah Smith, Jan Walters, and Stacy Miller between meetings on the Capitol on April 5th.

While there, they met with Senators and their aides about the urgent need to advocate for the delay of IRS’ electronic transaction reporting requirements, about which we’ll be keeping our members informed in the coming weeks.

Addressing these kinds of issues on behalf of farmers markets is something FMC is proud to do. The capacity for our small staff to do this work, however, is dependent on your involvement.  This is why, right now, we are launching FMC’s first ever Spring Giving Campaign to raise money for our fiscal year starting June 1st.

In short, the Farmers Market Coalition simply can not exist without your support. Like public radio, there is no turnstile demanding coins before you can take advantage of our listserv, Resource Library, webinars, or anything else on our web site. Do you want a national organization representing you and responding to your needs as you grow?  During this campaign, I’m asking you to please make that decision. Presently, FMC receives no base operating funds from the federal government. We need your support…and the support of your farmers, customers, fellow market, and organizations that want to see farmers markets thrive.

Please consider giving to FMC at this time of year when you’re busy, and you most need someone watching out for you, your market, your farmers, and those consumers who depend upon you every week, every year.

fundraisersBefore the end of May, we hope to raise $15,000 through your support. Our board members have already personally contributed nearly $3,500.  So, the rest is up to you. Help us make our first Annual Giving Campaign a success so we can keep pace with your needs as you grow!

Join now! Already a member?  Make a contribution at any level today!

Thank you for inspiring our board and our staff, every day, with all that you do in your communities!

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Sharon Yeago, President