Convention 2018

Join us at the Augusta Civic Center! Thursday, January 11, 2018

Shopping local in a global world: policies, trends, and resources that will impact Maine farmers’ markets

 

10th Annual Convention!

Take a day off from the barn, hoop house, field or kitchen to get inspired! 

Network with friends and neighbors, learn about business-strengthening innovations and connect with industry leaders at this dynamic, full-day event. Features include a keynote by food systems expert Philip Ackerman-Leist, author of Rebuilding the Foodshed; workshops and break-out sessions tailored to the needs of market farmers; tracks for beginners and experienced farmers’ market participants alike; DACF scale testing; a help desk for those interested in accepting SNAP; and an exhibit hall packed with resources. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to gather with over 130 farmers’ market participants from all over the state, all in one place.  Pre-registration is required. Click here to register. 

 

Keynote: “Hacking the Local Foodshed: Why Farmers’ Markets Matter More Than Ever”
Farmers’ markets are more than places where farmers and food entrepreneurs simply hone their competitive edges. They are also our society’s best representations of “food democracy” and “living economies.” As we hack our way toward local foodsheds that are more profitable, equitable, nimble, and resilient, it is imperative that we capitalize upon the anchor role that farmers’ markets play in linking economic value to democratic values. We’ll explore how farmers markets can advance bold moves on a local level.
Keynote speaker, Philip Ackerman-Leist is Professor of Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems at Green Mountain College, where he established the college’s organic farm, sustainable agriculture curricula, and the first online graduate program in Sustainable Food Systems in the United States.  He and his wife Erin live on a remote off-grid farm in Pawlet, Vermont with their three children, where they raise grassfed American Milking Devon cattle. His newest book is A Precautionary Tale: How One Small Town Banned Pesticides, Preserved its Food Heritage, and Inspired a Movement, published by Chelsea Green (November 2017). He is also the author of Rebuilding the Foodshed: How to Create Local, Sustainable, and Secure Food Systems and Up Tunket Road: The Education of a Modern Homesteader.

 

Workshops, roundtables, and panel discussions: As usual, we’ll be offering a packed schedule, with at least topics to choose from during each session.  Topics will include

  • Guarding your assets: trademarks and other legal protections
  • Strategies for fundraising and attracting sponsors
  • Digital tools for market management and direct marketing
  • What’s next for SNAP and Maine Harvest Bucks programming?
  • Lowering barriers to market farming with no-till techniques
  • The new food safety landscape
  • Roundtable discussions for market managers and for vendors new to markets
  • And more!

Other features of the convention:

  • This year’s schedule means attendees can plan to attend the Maine Agricultural Trades show on Weds, then stay overnight in Augusta, and attend the Maine Farmers’ Market Convention!
  • The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and Maine Farm Bureau will be teaming up to offer a legislative update to get everyone up to speed on key developments at the state and federal level.
  • Bring your scales for testing by the DACF.
  • Interested in signing up to accept SNAP? There will be a help desk available all day, and Debbie Crosby from the USDA will be able to sign up new vendors on site. 
  • WIC farmer authorization training will be offered as part of the program.
  • Pick up free “Farmers’ Market Today!”, “EBT Accepted” and “WIC Accepted Here” signs.
  • Find out about new tools, apps, groups, and resources in the farmers’ market exhibit area.

 

Early Bird registration will be open through December 8th.*

The deadline to register is January 2.

Click here to register. 

 

*Beginning Farmer Resource Network Participants: email jason.lilley@maine.edu or assistant@mffm.org for information about special registration options.