"The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members."
Coretta Scott King
The continued support of farmers' markets, local food, and healthy diets is overwhelming! Markets offer high quality, locally grown food for communities all over Ohio and contribute to Ohio's largest industry. In 2008, the Farmers’ Market Management Network (FMMN) was formed to organize the efforts of many throughout the state in a cooperative manner. Today, the Network has more than 50 members, representing farmers’ markets, vendors, municipalities, and many others who feel vested in their local food system.
Our organization has become a valuable resource. Because of our work together, the mission of the Farmers' Market Management Network has grown to include:
- Providing access to local foods.
- Assisting area farmers, producers, and artisans with sustainable business opportunities.
- Furthering the economic development of our communities.
- Assessing and addressing the needs of farmers' markets around Ohio.
- Representing our agricultural partners in local, state, and federal issues.
What’s new for 2018? How will we continue to move the needle?
Well first, we're celebrating our 10th anniversary with some big changes! And while we're dying to share them now, we're going to wait until our annual conference. (Have you ever seen a bigger push for conference attendance?!)
Here's what on our agenda for 2018:
- Host the 9th annual Ohio Farmers' Market Conference: Producers: The Foundation of a Great Market
- Continue its work to advance a statewide incentive network, engaging more markets and community to offer incentive programs
- Communicate the needs of our membership to local, state, and federal agencies, ensuring a smooth transition into FSMA
These are just a few of the things we’re working on this year. We hope to share much more, and in much more detail at the annual conference on March 1-2, 2018. This year’s conference will be held in Dublin once again, and back by popular demand is Vance Corum. Mr. Corum is a farmers’ market expert in organizing and development, and bestselling author of “The New Farmers’ Market." You do not want to miss this follow up to his 2017 visit! Click here to register for the 9th annual conference.
In addition to presentations by Mr. Corum, topics include:
- Food safety with Ohio Department of Agriculture Food Safety Director, Terri Gerhardt
- Social media advertising for markets and producers
- Attracting (and keeping) volunteers
- Food safety for value-added producers
- Recruiting interns
Now, to the point of this post…
The Farmers' Market Management Network is supported by volunteers and funded by grants, memberships, and sponsorships. FMMN is run by an all-volunteer board and operates on a small budget.
The Network’s continued success comes from our broad base of support within the state, including your annual membership. Through your support, FMMN will continue to improve the quality of our marketplaces and our vendors. Our organization has become the agency for farmers’ market managers, vendors, corporations, municipalities, students, and others who seek information regarding farmers' market trends and local food.
With that said, allow us to share our 2018 annual membership structure and its benefits.
Our organization represents the needs of markets and their producers from across the state. Whether it's ensuring reasonable use of non-mechanical equipment at markets for meat producers or adding items that are not hazardous to the Cottage Food Law, our organization is here to help. We will continue to mentor and help in navigating requirements to participate in local markets. This membership is $25 annually.
FARMERS’ MARKET MEMBERSHIP
Because the needs of a farmers’ market vary widely, and are largely based on their size, the farmers’ market membership is broken into three categories.
- Markets with 20 vendors or less will pay $50 annually.
- Markets with between 21-50 vendors will pay $75 annually.
- Market with more than 50 vendors will pay $100 annually.
Please renew your membership today! You may renew online at www.fmmn.org or by mailing your renewal to:
Farmers’ Market Management Network
PO Box 527
Worthington, Ohio 43085
There are a series of benefits including discounts, opportunities and events, and we will continue to expand upon this list throughout the year.
- 25% discount on ManageMyMarket.com market management software
- 20% discount on advertisements with Edible Columbus
- 15% discount on advertisements with Natural Awakenings of Central Ohio
- Private Facebook groups for communicating in real time with Ohio colleagues
- Access to a Google Drive resource library (upgraded from Dropbox)
As always, our website is an excellent resource for connecting with other members, retrieving tools and educational materials and staying up-to-date on changes in regulations affecting Ohio farmers' markets.
We are proud of what we have accomplished thus far, and could not have done it without you! If you have any questions about our membership, please do not hesitate to contact us. As the demands for our services grow, so will our impact. We invite you to be a part of it with us!
President, Board of Directors
Farmers’ Market Management Network