Farmers' Markets: Adding Value to Your Community

Farmers’ markets provide many services to our communities beyond the provision of local food such as:
*Attracting customers who will shop at other local businesses
* Educating the populace about the importance of healthy eating and farmland preservation
*Serving as new businesses incubators
*Providing an opportunity for people to invest in their own communities

The full benefit of a market, however, is best developed, not by the market alone, but through partnerships within communities. Join Maine Farmland Trust, The Opportunity Alliance, farmers, and community groups from across the state for a discussion of how local organizations and farmers' markets can partner to better serve our communities.
The first portion of this event, from 2pm-4pm, is divided into two focus areas. Choose an area in the form below. We will spend the final hour as one group.

Choice 1: Empowering Federal Nutrition Benefit Clients to Buy Local
Learn about the opportunities and challenges for low-income community members to support local farms and farmers’ markets
1. Understand the vendor enrollment process for:
• SNAP/EBT (formerly known as food stamps)
• WIC (2 types of checks that can be spent on local veggies)
• SeniorShare (Maine’s innovative program uses the CSA model)
2. Gather ideas for promoting your market or farm stand to recipients of federal nutrition benefits

Choice 2: Partnerships-Adding Value to Your Community
Listen to a panel of Maine markets discuss how they have successfully built collaborative relationships with community partners such as yourself to support the work of the market.
Hear about the relationship one community partner created with farmers' markets to pursue a mutual goal.
Participate in a discussion led by a national farmers’ market expert about opportunities for collaboration.

One Group
4pm-5pm Small Group Learning: Community Partners & Farmers
Break into regional groups of community partners and farmers to discuss and then report out on:
1. What role farmers see for community partners in their markets
2. What role each person/organization can play when collaborating with a farmers market

5:30 Dinner
Join us for a tasty buffet dinner made with many local foods and continue the conversation! Stay for the Farmers' Market Convention the following Friday and Saturday. For more information about the convention, visit:

Registration is $15.00 (includes dinner). Payment can be made to the Maine Farmland Trust the day of the event.

To register for the event, please submit your responses below. If you have any questions, please contact Tracy Weber, 553-5982.

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