The 10th annual Maine Farmers’ Market Convention will take place Thursday, January 11th at the Augusta Civic Center from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. Market vendors, managers, and volunteers from across the state will convene for the conference, the theme of which is “Keeping ‘Local’ Competitive in the Global Market: Policies, Trends, and Resources That Will Impact Maine Farmers’ Markets.” The convention is hosted by the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets (MFFM), and is the primary opportunity for people interested in Maine’s markets to come together for inspiration, guidance, and networking opportunities.
The keynote address at the convention, entitled, ““Hacking the Local Foodshed: Packing the Toolbox,” will be delivered by Philip Ackerman-Leist, author and Professor of Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems at Green Mountain College in Vermont. Ackerman-Leist will explore how farmers’ markets represent “food democracy” and living economies, and how Maine markets might increase their customer base and their local impact.
More than a dozen workshops and panel discussions, plus roundtable discussions and drop-in sessions, will be spread over the course of the day. Topics include, “A Holistic Approach to Branding Your Farmers’ Market”, “Law and Order: Farmers’ Market Unit – A Walk Through the Legal Issues That May Impact Your Market”, “Fundraising, Friendraising, and Finding Sponsors in Your Community and Beyond”, and “New Apps and Digital Tools for Market Management and Direct Marketing”. There will be on-site WIC farmer authorization training, a SNAP sign-up table with the USDA, a state and national legislative update, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry scales testing, and exhibitors. More about the schedule is available online (http://www.mainefarmersmarkets.org/convention-2018/).
Pre-registration is required, and is open now through January 2nd. (The cost is $38-48, with some scholarships available for students in agricultural programs.) For more information or to register, call (207) 487-7114 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Online registration is also available at mainefarmersmarkets.org.