The 2nd annual National Direct Agricultural Marketing Summit will take place from October 7-9, 2019 in Rosemont, Illinois (Chicago-area). FMC will be hosting pre-Summit activities on October 7 for markets and market networks. The agenda for those activities are below:

Pre-Conference Agenda


 Introduction by Ben Feldman

9:30-11:45am —State and Network Leader meeting

Please contact Darlene Wolnik for further details or to be added to the attendee list.

9:45-11:30am — Emerging Issues Panels

Supporting Immigrant Communities: How can markets help support immigrant communities? Immigrants are a vital part of U.S, agriculture, yet often lack access to traditional business opportunities. What does it take for farmers markets to support these communities?

Cannabis and Farmers Markets: What does the changing legal landscape for marijuana and hemp mean for farmers markets?

11:30-11:45 am— Find Your Group

Participants will be able to break into smaller groups by rural, urban, and suburban market types and by region.

11:45-1:30pm — Lunch on Your Own

1:30-2:00pm — Introduction to FMC Strategic Plan

FMC will present on our new five year strategic plan and how we plan to support farmers market operators and state/network leaders. 

2:00-4:15pm — Capacity-Building: FMC’s plan for Training and Technical Assistance

General Discussion: What do market managers need from their state/regional networks? What do markets need to help their vendors need to be successful in farmers markets? How can networks support capacity building for successful programs at market level? What existing resources do you find most valuable? What resources do you need most?

Find the full conference agenda and register on the Summit website:



The 2018 Convening

The 2018 National Direct Agricultural Marketing Summit came to fruition because 4 organizations explored a common goal: fostering mutually beneficial connections between researchers and practitioners while offering hands-on technical assistance. With no national convening to set precedence for these goals, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service took on an experiment: hosting a first-of-its-kind event with partners from the Food Distribution Research Society (FDRS), the National Value Added Conference, Farm Credit Council, and Farmers Market Coalition (FMC).

The 2018 Summit welcomed 400 attendees coming from 44 states and Canada. Over 150 farmers market managers and program operators joined extension agents, students and researchers, USDA employees, entrepreneurs, and service providers. The Summit successfully melded this group of direct ag professionals and leaders through two days of presentations and workshops, surrounded by networking and peer-to-peer learning at receptions, the vendor Expo, and a project poster showcase. Click here to see highlights from the 2018 Summit

A Glimpse at the 2018 Attendees