Farmers' Market Resources | SAWG Board Seeks Candidates
Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group  |   August 2016
Celebrate National Farmers Market Week

More and more communities are adding farmers markets, recognizing the benefits they provide: viable regional economies and local farm businesses, increased access to fresh, nutritious food, and stronger social networks that help keep communities healthy.

Farmers markets also serve as business incubators that allow farmers, ranchers, and entrepreneurs to keep overheads low and test new products and markets.

In a recent newsletter, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition shared some encouraging market statistics:
  • Farmers markets are growing--Today there are about 8,500 farmers markets in the U.S. That's 180% growth since 2006!
  • Farmers markets help farmers start businesses and stay in business--16% of farmers selling at farmers markets are under 35 years of age and 43% have farmed for less than 10 years.
  • Farmers markets stimulate local economies--Growers selling locally create 13 full-time jobs per $1 million in revenue earned.
You can find even more facts and talking points on the Farmers Market Coalition website. 

Also, USDA Agricultural Market Service released new branding materials for farmers markets that can be downloaded, free of charge, to create marketing materials such as posters, emails and buttons.

Not surprisingly, Southern SAWG also has some very useful resources pertaining to farmers markets.

Our online course, Choosing Your Markets, covers some content very specific to farmers markets. For instance, in the section titled "Farmers Markets" there are downloadable resources such as: questions for farmers to consider; tips for personal success; and pricing considerations. And on the "Marketing Tips" section, both Jon Taggert and Lynn Pugh share some sage advice, as well as even more downloadable resources. And throughout each section of this course, Lynn and Jon give audio tips on marketing. 

And we have two videos from our Natural Farming Systems in the South series, that contain some good nuggets of wisdom about selling at farmers markets. In the video "From Fields to Market", you can watch the full video that shows how Joseph Fields Farm markets its produce through several venues: a cooperative, a small CSA, some groceries and restaurants, an on-farm stand and several farmers markets. And the video "Maple Spring Gardens" is primarily about production, but it does cover some of Ken Dawson's marketing ideas and shows him setting up at a farmers market.
SAWG Board Seeks Candidates

The Southern SAWG Board of Directors is accepting applicants for consideration of board appointment beginning in March 2017. If you, or someone you know, would be a strong candidate who would help strengthen and support the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group in achieving our mission, please consider applying. 

Board Term: March 2017-March 2020
Application Deadline: August 15, 2016

Meet New Board Member:
Glenn Mack

Dr. Glenn R. Mack is the Executive Director of Brightwater: The Center for the Study of Food, as well as an educator, author, cook, and researcher. He covered the Soviet Union as a journalist for seven years in Moscow and New York. He then spent a year in Central Asia studying culinary culture and history of the region. Dr. Mack trained in the culinary arts in China, Italy, Russia, Uzbekistan, and the U.S. Prior to working as Dean at a Singapore culinary school, Glenn served as President and Vice President of Academic Affairs for several U.S. campuses of Le Cordon Bleu. Dr. Mack currently serves on the board of directors of the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
Speaking of Farmers Markets...

Of course, at the 2017 Southern SAWG Conference in Lexington, Kentucky this January, we'll have plenty of sessions on farmers markets. Since these markets seem to be popping up on just about every street corner nowadays, we'll have a session that helps producers determine which farmers markets will be the best fit for them. There will also be other farmers market sessions, including one led by Ken Dawson on how to increase your sales at your farmers market--with presentation of products being a piece of that puzzle. Just to whet your appetite, here's a little time-lapsed video made by the Southern Foodways Alliance of Ken and crew setting up for market. 

Ken Dawson_s Set Up
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