Back to Burlington

The late winter and spring are mad times for a farmers market consultant. The numbers of workshops and conferences has doubled or tripled in the last few years and every year since 2005 or so, I have been honored to be asked to present at 4 to 10 state or national convenings. I very much appreciate the opportunity to work with many market and market advocates at one time and to hear about new ideas and to meet some of those names I read from reports and posts on listserves.
In January, I spoke at NOFA-VT’s Direct Marketing Conference for the second year and I must say it’s a favorite of mine-a great mix of market organizers, farmers and agencies. Very focused and well attended. NOFA does an extremely professional job putting this on without showing the blood, sweat and maybe even tears, but knowing them its probably blood, sweat and laughs…
Part of why I went there was to conduct interviews with farmers and market operators to ensure their point of view is included within the state feasibility report that I am doing for NOFA and VAAFM (Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets) on their EBT, WIC, FMNP systems and what steps it would take to build a comprehensive and universal system for their markets. (And no, I don’t ski or participate in winter sports so outdoor fun doesn’t factor in….)
Unfortunately, my schedule, vendors winter flu and other issues prevented me from getting enough interviews, so I decided to come back and to buttonhole some more folks at the other conference I have heard about from many Vermonters-NOFA’s Winter Conference. Workshops, TED talks, a multitude of different points of views from producers to “eaters” and a seed swap among many other things.
If you’re nearby and can make it, you might want to register and check it out for yourself. If you’re further away, you might want to download their brochure and put one on in your town.

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