FMC to Launch Annual Campaign, Celebrate Sixth Anniversary

Stacy April 18, 2012

Beginning April 25th, FMC will begin a six week countdown to its sixth anniversary (June 6), and invites anyone with an interest in seeing farmers markets thrive to join the party. During FMC’s Annual Spring Campaign, FMC will be celebrating by offering a unique spectrum of special thank you gifts for those who donate to support the mission of strengthening farmers markets. Every Wednesday during the annual campaign, an FMC board members will announce another special offer, including limited edition gifts like autographed copies of Nikki McClure’s inspiring children’s book To Market, To Market, …

Digging Into Farmers Market Policy: How to Use FMC’s Advocate Toolkit

Jen O'Brien

FMC has just created a Farmers Market Advocate’s Toolkit designed to provide guidance in communicating to legislators the importance of farmers markets. It’s easy to run from words like “lobbying” and “legislator” but its important to remember that you are the expert here. This toolkit consists of a series of one-pagers to help you communicate that local food system expertise to those who need to hear it most.

Building a Matrix for Market Measurement: An Update on FMC’s Indicator Project

Liz Comiskey

What is the best method for a busy organizer to know how many shoppers stream in and out of those hidden passageways between tents? Or how much and what kinds of products they might actually be purchasing? After shopper and vendor numbers are established, more expansive measurements might be needed, such as the increase in healthy food production or the addition of jobs. Perhaps the market was organized to increase farmland use, or its partners are interested in the quality of educational events offered, or the degree to which neighboring businesses (or the city’s parking meters!) benefit from the traffic brought to the market area. Each of these questions that lead to data collection at the market is called an indicator in the parlance of funders or researchers. For a market searching for ways to define success of a funded project or to convince their municipality that market activity matters, the first step is to understand which indicator should be chosen and how to use it.

Spring 2012 Farm Bill Update

Stacy

FMC members have been highlighted at Senate and House events this spring. FMC board member Caroline Todd, Director of the Columbia Farmers Market (MO), explained at a Senate briefing on March 1st how the market used a Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) grant to get an electronic benefit transfer machine (EBT) to serve SNAP participants, conduct an extensive publicity campaign to low-income families. and open new satellite market sites. A summary of the March 1st hearing, which also included testimony from Oran Hesterman of FMC member Fair Food Network, is available here on the NSAC web site.

Announcing Discover You Can 2012!

Liz Comiskey

  FMC and Jarden Home Brands, makers of Ball® Brand Fresh Preserving Products, are gearing up for the 2012 season of this canning education program and want to invite your market to take part. With more than 500 canning demonstrations at last year’s participating markets, Discover You Can helped dozens of FMC members meet their…

Observations on the Changing Landscape of Food Safety in Local Food Systems

Liz Comiskey

As pop up tents triumph over open asphalt this season, market managers have the responsibility to keep a bird’s eye view on food safety and customer satisfaction. If your market has specific food safety rules, or if certain producers become GAPs certified, let customers know on your websites, or at your information table. Building and maintaining trust is an ongoing, proactive process as consumers become more educated and concerned about food safety practices. Farmers should be encouraged by market managers to create food safety plans, which need not be much more complicated than documentation of every day common sense.

FMC Book Review- Food Fight: A Citizen’s Guide to the Next Farm Bill

Jen O'Brien

By Natalie Roper, FMC Research & Education Intern In Michael Pollan’s foreword to Food Fight: A Citizens Guide to the Next Farm Bill, he writes, “Today, because so few realize that we citizens have a dog in this fight, our legislators feel free to leave the debate over the Farm Bill to the farm states,…

Special Events Bookend the Season- Get Listed for National Recognition

Liz Comiskey

Food Revolution Day, a new event launched by the Jamie Oliver Foundation, is encouraging people to get social and active with healthy food on May 19th. Markets can register their special events- some ideas are to host market tours, dinner parties, children’s events, and more. The event is organized by social media aficionados who are…

Upgrades to Membership Coming Soon

Liz Comiskey April 13, 2012

FMC, meanwhile, is excitedly knee-deep in the process of transitioning its member database to a new, upgraded system. After a lengthy research process, we have identified Salsa as the best tool for our organizations needs. Salsa’s capabilities will provide a more hassle-free experience when joining, renewing, or donating, and will make it easier for members to take action on national farmers market issues. The new platform will also result in a change of renewal dates. Soon, members will expire on the last day of their expiration month, instead of a specific date during that month.

FMC Submits Testimony to House and Senate about FMPP and WIC FMNP in 2013 Budget

Stacy March 19, 2012

In the testimonies, FMC urged support for reauthorizing FMPP, as well as restoring full funding to the WIC FMNP in the Fiscal Year 2013 budget.