Summer Initiatives

      Posted On: July 8, 2014


This summer we’ve been delighted to hear about the many innovative farmers market initiatives happening nationwide.  To name just a few: DC markets are offering checks to SNAP and Medicaid recipients as part of their Produce Plus initiative, the USDA is partnering with the Department of Defense to write a guide to running farmers markets on military installations, and local and celebrity chefs have participated in cook-offs, book signings, and demonstrations at markets all over the country.

On FMC’s end, we’re in the middle of some exciting initiatives of our own:

/  FMC’s Poster Contest is in full swing, accepting submissions through midnight of July 27th. Enter your market’s poster, or make a brand new one if you like! Contest details are posted here, and all of the amazing entries can be viewed on FMC’s facebookpage.

/  Discover You Can: Learn Make Share is in full swing at 50 FMC members markets across the country. Their creative workshops and demonstrations are on display on the DYC facebook page.

/  Farmers Market Metrics, FMC’s data collection and communication initiative has finished its first round of prototyping. Read Darlene Wolnik’s recap of the process here.

/  FMC’s summer toolkit, Meet Me at Market has a new set of templates and ideas for you as you work to bring more people to your market. Download the templates, graphics and let us know how you use them!

We’re also gearing up for National Farmers Market Week. FMC will be in DC to announce and the winners of the Poster Contest at the Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market on August 3rd. The winning posters will be displayed again at the USDA Farmers Market the following Friday. Members of the Union of Concerned Scientists will also be joining us to release a new fact sheet on farmers markets and health systems. Come see us if you’re in the area, and be sure to get one of our ‘I heart Farmers Market’ tattoos while you’re at it!

That brings me to the big question: how will your market celebrate National Farmers Market Week (August 3-9)?  A cooking demo? A party? Music? Celebrity chefs? Whatever you chose, be sure to invite your local legislators.  What better way to thank your congressmen for supporting farmers markets and local food initiatives in this year’s farm bill, than to include them in your market’s celebrations. You can find your senator and representatives at this link, and download FMC’s invitation to legislators template at this link.

One more piece of news: I was fortunate enough to marry my favorite foodie earlier this summer – so you’ll notice a name change on my end.

Happy marketing!




Jen (O’Brien) Cheek
Executive Director
Farmers Market Coalition

Jen Cheek at the USDA Farmers Market Opening with UCS staff member Amelia Moore (and board members Jeff O'Hara and Bernie Prince behind)

Jen Cheek at the USDA Farmers Market Opening with UCS’s Amelia Moore (and board member Jeff O’Hara behind)