Organizing a Farmers Market

Four-Hour Online Course - Download It 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: Saturday, October 7, 2017 9:00 am

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 was recorded in November 2017.

Click here to purchase and download the series.

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.

McCarty and his colleague, Extension Program Coordinator Nikki Keltner, is joined by members of the Illinois Farmers Market Association to conduct this 4-hour online training course on how to set up a successful market. The course teaches 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 covers 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 step viewers through a variety of case studies describing the set-up and implementation of farmers markets.

The download includes two recorded webinar sessions (MP4) and the presentation slides (PDF).

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