Farmers Market Managers Professional Development Seminar

Farmers Market Managers Professional Development Seminar


March 22 from 8:30am to 4:00pm


8:45 am – 9:00 am: Welcome and Introductions

9:00 am – 10:00 am: General Session: Staying Relevant in a Changing Retail Food Landscape
On-line food shopping and delivery is here to stay. How will farmers markets respond? Does no response mean we give up? A panel of start-ups who are implementing on-line sales/marketing solutions for local agricultural businesses and farmers markets will share their experience.
Moderator: Jeff Cole, Mass Farmers Markets
Speakers:  Insa Elliott, MKT2Day; Mike Gold and Matt Tortora, Crave Food Systems

10:00 am – 10:45 am: General Session: The Healthy Incentives Program’s First Year
Preliminary results from HIP’s first year will be shared, including feedback from stakeholder meetings, challenges, promising practices and more.

11:00 am – 3:15 pm: Facilitated Discussions

About Facilitated Discussions: Each concurrent session will include a facilitator to provide context to the conversation, however the exact content of each workshop will depend on YOU.  Come prepared with your questions and ideas. Bring copies of your market’s materials to share.

Market Management: We’ll compare notes on staffing, budgeting, market policy, market integrity, working with local officials and more. Monopoly versus healthy competition: How do we recruit and retain the right balance of vendors?

Facilitator: David Scanlan, Operations Manager, Mass Farmers Markets

New Ways to Market Farmers Markets: What can you do in collaboration with others to garner support for your market? What services or programs held in coordination with the market help draw more customers? Discussion may include state tourism resources, Chambers of Commerce, Summer Lunch Programs, kids programming, connecting with chefs and more. Has anyone connected with AAA or other travel publications or connected your market vendors with other local food businesses?

Facilitator: Julie Unger, Melrose Farmers Market

Healthy Incentives Program: Discussion will include strategies for outreach and communications with program partners, market managers and clients.

Facilitator: TBA

Market Challenges and Successes in Diverse Communities: Farmers Markets in socio-economically diverse neighborhoods present unique challenges and opportunities. How do you attract vendors when they may have poor perceptions of the area? How can vendors set affordable prices for customers, yet still be profitable? How does your market welcome culturally diverse shoppers? What success have you experienced?

Facilitator: Jon Van Kuiken, Manager, Brockton Farmers Market

Filling Your Market’s Wallet: Tips and tales from the trenches to develop and sustain adequate resources to effectively run your market.  Volunteers, cash, sponsors and more.

Facilitator: Lynda Brushett, Cooperative Development Institute

Healthy Incentives Program:  An opportunity for market managers to have a more detailed discussion about challenges, successes and best practices from year one of HIP.

Facilitator: TBA

Market Logistics: Market managers deal with an array of logistical issues: parking, market layout, signage, grumpy neighbors, central pick up areas… How do you address some of the day to day market challenges?

Facilitator: TBA

Boosting Sales Thru Shopper Loyalty: Studies show about 80% of people who belong to loyalty programs are more likely to shop at places with loyalty programs in place. More than half said they join programs to save money or receive discounted products. WOW! How can markets harness the power of loyalty programs to bring customers to the market and keep them shopping?

Facilitators: Niki Lankowski, Northampton Tuesday Market; Devon Whitney-Deal , Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture

Managers Choice – Topic to be determined based on feedback from registrants.

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm: Keys to Success: 30 Ideas in 30 Minutes

What worked really, really well at your market last year?  Come prepared to share in 60 seconds the best idea from your market experience on any aspect of your market:  marketing managing, entertainment, sponsorships, food safety, equipment, social media, partnerships, volunteers, vendor relationships, fundraising and more….

Facilitator: Lynda Brushett, Cooperative Development Institute

4:30 pm – 6:30 pm: Mass Farmers Markets Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting of Mass Farmers Markets includes a recap of activities for the past year along with a review of forward looking plans.  Election of the Board of Directors will also take place. All conference attendees are welcome to attend.

Workshop Planning Committee: Lynda Brushett, Cooperative Development Institute; Cindy Chabot, Melrose Farmers Market; Jeff Cole, Mass Farmers Markets; Niki Lankowski, Northampton Tuesday Market; Malia Maier, Boston Public Market; Julie Unger, Melrose Farmers Market; Jon Van Kuiken, Brockton Farmers Market; David Webber, MA Dept. of Agricultural Resources