(Marion, VA): Over the past sixteen weeks, Marion's Farmers Market Manager has participated in a fast-paced Pilot Program through the Virginia Farmers Market Association. Upon completion of the 16-week course, Leslie Vanover received her certification and is now a Certified Market Manager. She is now the only Certified Market Manager in Southwestern Region of Virginia!
Farmers market management required a wide range of knowledge and skills to create a profitable market for farmers. The 16-week certification program assisted in training market managers in various topics including: rules, policies and governance; accounting, sales, expenses and SNAP; conflict management, special event planning, data and reporting, and food safety.
"We saw this as a great opportunity for not only the market, but for the Town of Marion as a whole," said Olivia McDonald, Executive Director of Marion Downtown. "Over the past three years, we have really started trying to expand the market and recruit more vendors to sell in Marion. With the increase in markets opening up around us, Marion took a hit and suffered immensely from it," McDonald added. "We partnered with ASD, Wholesome Wave and AFMA to bring SNAP/EBT and the Double Dollars program to our market. We have started doing monthly events and workshops catered to creating more foot traffic on Saturdays at the market and downtown. We even partnered with MDRA to host an exceptionally successful Farm-to-Table Fundraising Dinner, which we plan on continuing this year." "Leslie is a great asset to the Community and Economic Development Team for the town, and is doing an exceptional job at helping grow the market," McDonald added.
Marion Farmers Market continues to grow, and we always welcome new vendors to join us! Fresh produce, baked and canned goods, artisans and more - we're business friendly and encourage everyone to come set up with us on Saturdays 8am - 12noo - we're open now through October! Cost is only $5 a week. For more information on the market, visit www.marionva.org.
Anyone interested in setting up should contact Olivia McDonald at (276)783-4190 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo of the 2017 Graduates of the Virginia Farmers Market Association Certification Program