Organizing a Farmers Market

Four-Hour Online Course - Register Now!

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Grant McCarty is a local foods and small farms educator with the University of Illinois Extension.

Nikki Keltner is an Extension Program Coordinator with the University of Illinois Extension.

Janie Maxwell, MS, RDN, LDN, is executive director of the Illinois Farmers Market Association.

Cathy McDermott is the administrator of the Rock River Development Partnership in Rockford, Ill., and a board member of both the Illinois Farmers Market Association and the National Association of Produce Market Managers.

Catherine Dunlap is the events and outreach coordinator for the Downtown Bloomington (Ill.) Association.

Posted: Friday, October 6, 2017 9:00 am | Updated: 9:19 am, Fri Oct 6, 2017.

This 4-hour webinar series featuring instructors Grant McCarty and Nikki Keltner from the University of Illinois Extension, along with Janie Maxwell, Cathy McDermott and Catherine Dunlap from the Illinois Farmers Market Association will be conducted live in two-hour segments on November 7 & 8, 2017.

Click here to register and/or learn more about the course.

Farmers markets are becoming more popular than ever across the country, as consumers become more concerned about the safety and quality of mass-produced and processed foods. When combined with arts and entertainment components, these local food venues can become the focal point in a community’s placemaking, tourism and economic development endeavors.

Farmers markets can also play a critical role in strengthening community resilience, fighting obesity, improving health and supporting disadvantaged neighborhoods in urban food deserts.

As a local foods and small farms educator with the University of Illinois Extension, Grant McCarty works to educate consumers, homeowners, and producers on soil management, organic fruit and vegetable production, local food systems development, disease/insect management, farmers markets and other direct marketing channels. During the year, he provides consultation and assistance to area growers and producers related to their management practices.

On Nov. 7 and 8, McCarty and his colleague, Extension Program Coordinator Nikki Keltner, will be joined by members of the Illinois Farmers Market Association to conduct a 4-hour online training course on how to set up a successful market. The course will teach local government staff, nonprofits and private-sector organizers how to plan, develop and implement a successful farmers market in a community of any size.

Produced and moderated by Sustainable City Network, the course will cover topics such as how to choose a location, engaging stakeholders, establishing roles and responsibilities, setting up a management structure, understanding insurance needs, working with vendors, developing contracts, and branding, marketing and promoting a farmers market.

During the second session, Janie Maxwell, Cathy McDermott and Catherine Dunlap of the Illinois Farmers Market Association will step through a variety of case studies describing the set-up and implementation of farmers markets.

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