The Farmers Market Resiliency Program (FMRP) is a customized training and support program for board members, market managers, and farmers market vendors to increase long-term resiliency at Kentucky farmers market. It is funded by a three-year Farmers Market Promotion Program grant from the United States Department of Agriculture. This program is geared towards markets that are hiring or planning to hire a new market manager.
The FMRP will help markets build their capacity for long-term sustainability. It will support markets in hiring and training a new market manager or training an existing market manager to be a skilled and effective leader. It is also excellent for markets that are in their first five years of operation as well as markets that have struggled with the implementation of or reporting for Kentucky Double Dollars (KDD) or Market Manager Cost Share (MMCS) grants,
The goals of the program are to help Kentucky farmers markets:
- Increase vendor and market manager success;
- Attract new and diverse vendors;
- Increase participation in food access programs;
- Strengthen a market’s business plan and management structure that maintains sustainable funding sources for the market.
Working alongside project partners, the FMRP responds directly to challenges unique to your community and helps to build a comprehensive support system for your market by:
- Partnering with market leaders to create a streamlined and adaptive farmers market training program that provides comprehensive support to the entire market, by including modules and technical assistance specific to not only the market manager, but to vendors, and board members;
- Providing tailored and responsive technical assistance to your market; and
- Fostering a peer-to-peer learning network so support continues beyond the grant period.
MARKET MANAGER TRAINING
Weekly workshops during March and April of 2022 focused on supporting participating market managers. Workshops will:
- Assist managers in developing robust internal systems for day-to-day operations and efficient onboarding of volunteers and vendors.
- Train managers to facilitate market participation in healthy food access programs, including CFA’s nutrition incentive programs.
- Train managers on marketing and outreach and assist in the development of yearly marketing plans.
BOARD MEMBER WORKSHOPS:
Quarterly workshops focused on strengthening the participating market’s Board of Directors. Workshops will:
- Assist board members in developing financial stability.
- Assist board members in developing their own farmers market guide to store institutional memory including information about market processes, roles and responsibilities, by-law development, and training information for new board members and staff.
Quarterly workshops focused on providing vendors with direct marketing support. Workshops will:
- Train farmer vendors on marketing, booth design, and customer engagement at farmers markets.
- Train farmer vendors on rules and regulations relevant to selling at farmers markets in Kentucky including those specific to vending value added products.
- Introduce farmers to additional resources related to production planning, grant eligibility, state programs, technical assistance providers, etc.
The FMRP is open to any Kentucky farmers market or community market which is interested in strengthening its organizational structures to create a sustainable future for the market. Eligibility priorities include one or more of the following-
- Markets whose leadership, vendors, and/or community represents a socially disadvantaged population.*
- Markets with a high turnover of board members, market managers, and/or vendors.
- Markets that are wanting to establish or already have established a healthy food access program including but not limited to WIC or Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, SNAP, Fruit & Veggie Rx, and/or Kentucky Double Dollars.
- New and emerging markets with 5 or fewer years in operation.
*Defined as those belonging to groups that have been subject to racial or ethnic prejudice. This includes those who are Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Hispanic or Latino, and Asian or Pacific Islander, and/or a member of a racial or ethnic minority.