Farmers Market Federation of New York Announces Farmers Market Manager Mentoring Blogs
We all enjoy our local Farmer’s Market, but few of us realize the challenges that our local Farmer’s market manager need to overcome to deliver this community gem each week. The challenges posed by local rules, food handling guidelines, consumer preferences, safety and traffic, not to mention fundraising and community support can discourage even the best prepared among us.
“We found a lot of exasperated managers,” explains Diane Eggert, Executive Director of the Farmers’ Market Federation, “and we set out to help them better manage their markets by sharing information, and resources to help get the job done.” Chief among these ideas is Mentoring, and now the Federation has built a whole new approach to the problem.
To allow all farmers market managers to benefit from a peer-to-peer mentoring program, the Farmers Market Federation of NY, with funding from USDA AMS Farmers Market Promotion Program, has set up a series of Farmers Market Mentoring Blogs. Each blog is tied to a specific skill set and will give managers access to expertise on a 24/7/365 basis. Each blog will have one dedicated blogger who has recognized expertise in the skill defined by the blog. Readers will have the opportunity to respond and ask questions to each blogger, receiving answers, suggestions and tips as appropriate, on a timely basis.
Farmers Market manager mentoring is an ideal that brings managers with expertise together with less experienced managers. Managers participating in the program will increase their management skills, allowing them to advance their farmers market goals and missions to better serve their farmers, consumers and communities. Often mentoring relationships use a series of face-to-face meetings, phone calls and emails to work through the issues and needs of the mentee.
But with the time crunch facing most farmers markets, the face-to-face component of mentoring does not fit their schedules, limiting a manager’s ability to participate in such programs and limiting their ability to improve their own skill sets and grow their farmers markets.
Here is a description of each of the Farmers Market Manager Mentoring Blogs. Visit www.nyfarmersmarket.com to read the posts to each of these blogs.
Promoting Your Market
With a goal of building your market’s customer base to increase potential revenues for your farmers and vendors, this blog will focus on consumer outreach – paid advertising, promotional efforts, special events and other means of reaching your market’s potential consumers.
Partnership and Community Relations
Building your market community – working with local businesses, municipalities, government agencies and non profits to build stronger allegiances, better communications, serve to recruit Board Members or Friends, build market programs and fundraise for the market.
A discussion of the infrastructure of farmers markets – governing bodies, such as boards of directors, their roles, the potential impact of their roles and how they interact with the market’s manager, the market’s farmers and their consumers.
Day to day operations of a market is the role of the market manager. This blog is broad in its discussion of those duties that are required of managers in carrying out the daily operations of their markets to fulfill their market’s mission.
Often cited as one of the most difficult tasks in starting a farmers market, this blog will discuss the issues of finding farmers for your market, maintaining the balance of product diversity in the marketplace and building relationships with your growers, as well as other issues related to working with the farmers in your market.
Farmer’s Markets continue to reflect the fabulous resources available in and around the communities they serve. The Farmers Market Federation is bringing together the knowledge and resources of hundreds of markets from across the state to help each market be more effective in their operations through programs such as this.
For more information, contact the Farmers Market Federation of NY at 315.637.4690 or email diane [dot] eggert [at] verizon [dot] net.