2019 Schedule

SUNDAY, February 24th

9:00 am – 2:00 pm – Registration/Check-in
11:30 am – Conference Welcome
  • Our Jobs are Weird – Catt Fields White, InTents Business | San Diego Markets

Whether you’re mulling market maps, staffing the Info Booth, or piling vegetables, meats, baked goods or jars on tables, you mostly love your farmers’ market job, right? When the new vendor sounds like a carnival barker, the EBT machine is offline or a downpour is in the offing, maybe not so much. What could make our market days even more satisfying and more profitable? Get ready to find out!

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm – Session 1
  • Planning for Profit, Brooklyn Grange and the Bottom Line – Anastasia Cole Plakias, Brooklyn Grange

When three scrappy dreamers launched New York City’s largest rooftop farm in 2010, they sold vegetables from plastic folding tables propped up on a stretch of industrial sidewalk. Now their produce is found in some of Manhattan’s best restaurants, and instead of supporting the farm with day jobs they’re employing dozens of people and expanding to new rooftops. Brooklyn Grange co-founder and author of The Farm on the Roof, Anastasia Cole Plakias will discuss how the farm’s “triple bottom line” model helps the business become more profitable, and also serves the planet and its people. Ten years in, with a long list of standing orders being delivered to Michelin-starred chefs, she’ll share why they still drag the folding tables out to vend at their local farmers’ market.

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm – Workshops
  • Proven Formulas for Marketing Your Market – Megan Bomba & Jen Kanter

This workshop will teach managers how to promote farmers’ markets to their entire community and customer-base, with emphasis on customers using food assistance programs. Learn to navigate digital resources including social media, Google My Business, Yelp, and others and use them effectively while juggling your operational responsibilities as market manager. This session will provide a “how-to” if you’re in need of basic digital marketing knowledge, and strategy building tips if you’re an experienced social media user.

  • Making Your Website Work for You: On Site Critiques and Tips – Charlotte Smith, 3 Cow Marketing

Instead of one more chore to manage, your website should be like an ATM machine: spitting cash out at you with the customers it brings to your business. Conference favorite Charlotte Smith will provide tips to refocus your farm or food maker website on identifying people’s needs for what you offer and building a connection with the right shoppers versus just advertising your products, so website visitors become paying customers.

2:45 pm – 4:45 pm – Session 2
  • Manage Your Risk, Protect Your Business – Chris Van Leeuwen, Food Liability Insurance Program

As your business becomes more successful and visible, your business and personal assets face increased exposure to potential lawsuits. Your products, operations and venues all present potential issues to your business. Join insurance professional Chris Van Leeuwen, CIC, to identify issues you face and methods to mitigate and reduce these exposures to your business.

  • Hiring Help: Relief vs Risk – Melissa A. Lewis, Devaney Pate Morris & Cameron

Employees, interns and volunteers can provide an opportunity to grow your business. Make sure you have the tools in place to be sure they don’t also create a liability. Attorney Melissa A. Lewis will help you avoid the pitfalls of hiring help.

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Farm Flavors Reception
  • Meet and greet, nibble and sip with your fellow attendees and InTents Conference speakers at the Farm Flavors Reception with a sunset view of the marina in the Dockside Room. Then head on your own or with old and new friends to your choice of local Farm to Fork San Diego restaurants offering special menus to InTents attendees.
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Farm2Fork Dinner Meetups
  • After the opening InTents Conference Farm Flavors Reception happy hour on Sunday evening, take advantage of prix fixe dinner options at these Farm To Fork San Diego Restaurants. Reserve your table with the restaurant directly and enjoy meals featuring local farm fresh ingredients. Click here for more details 

MONDAY, February 25th

7:30 am – 2:00 pm – Registration/Check-in
8:30 am – 10:30 am – Session 3
  • Building Your Business by Building Relationships – Charlotte Smith, 3 Cow Marketing

You’ll never compete with Amazon, Walmart or Whole Foods on price or convenience, and why should you? Instead, you can do what the big chains never can: connect with your customers on a personal level, making them want to go out of their way to seek out your products and eliminating price as a concern. In her Farm Marketing From the Heart programs, Charlotte Smith has taught hundreds of farmers how to create relationship-marketing systems that work, and build truly sustainable food businesses.

  • Bringing Retail Expertise to the Street – Alli Ball, Allison Ball Consulting

Achieving high sales at the farmers’ market goes well beyond producing a delicious product. Crafting your display with eye-catching props and signage, engaging potential customers as they pass by, creating an environment where shoppers feel comfortable, educated, excited, and engaged – it all impacts your success. Retail expert Allison Ball, former Head of Grocery at San Francisco’s Bi-Rite Family of Businesses and now a respected food business consultant, will offer proven sales techniques to immediately enhance your display, engage more customers, and, ultimately, sell more product.

 11:00 am – 12:30 pm – Session 4
  • Start with Financial Sustainability – Ben Grimes, Dawnbreaker Farms

Too often small businesses struggle to find an economic foothold. Experienced farmer Ben Grimes will provide the recipe for using your passion to launch a successful business that fulfills your calling and also provides a good livelihood. Starting with your personal needs and moving onto business goals, learn to properly price products, track sales, trends and profitability in order to create financial success. This presentation will provide a clear roadmap for charting your success at the farmers market.

  • Mapping Your Market Workshop – Chris Quinlan, MarketWurks and Brijet Myers, San Diego Markets

Exploring new technologies and developing strategies for curating, mapping, creating market layouts and managing collections to make your market work.

  • Workshop: Recipe Development Workshop – Sarah Marshall, Marshall’s Haute Sauce

Learn how Sarah Marshall develops food and beverage recipes for farmers, food companies and restaurants using real ingredients and memorable and delicious flavor combinations.

  • Workshop: Increasing Farmer Outreach – Cynthia Brown, Chic Eats

Learn about a free availability list tool for farmers built by an enthusiastic market shopper and advocate. Spending less than 10 minutes a week, growers using the tool have seen an increase in customer awareness and in some cases quadrupled sales. The workshop will walk through how the availability list works and the easy steps to making it your own.

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Workshops
  • Controlling Food Cost to Maximize Profit – Sarah Delevan, Sarah Delevan Consulting

MYTH: In the food industry, all businesses should strive for 30% food costs. TRUTH: Many businesses hit that target and still struggle because it’s not the right standard for their operation. Operating and labor costs, overall revenues, and profit goals mean no one size fits all. Walk through the process of a Food Cost Analysis with to identify current costs, identify the right food cost target for your business, and discuss the strategies and tools for reducing and controlling costs to maximize your profitability.

  • Building Your Market with Community Investment – Erin Tormey, Coastside Farmers’ Markets

At modern farmers’ markets, public expectations include fresh local produce and artisan foods, plus music, demos, education, pet-parking and access programs like SNAP. Costs of permits, site rent, security, publicity, plus a skilled staff to manage compliance basics plus all the extras can you’re your farmers’ market operation prohibitively expensive and unrealistically time consuming. Market Director Erin Tormey shares active community engagement strategies that have added thousands of dollars to the budgets of her two mid-size markets, making it possible to pay competitive wages, present lively community programs, and develop an effective promotional program while keeping stall fees for farmers at a minimum.

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Session 5
  • Panel Discussion: Who Needs More Farmers’ Markets? – Moderator: Marcy Coburn, CUESA

Every neighborhood wants it own farmers’ market, and who can blame them? Maybe in a perfect world, farmers’ markets would outnumber Starbucks, with one on every corner. But in today’s reality, what does more markets mean to farmers, food makers and existing markets’ managers? What elements predict market success, and who benefits when new markets open? Join the discussion with Executive Director Marcy Coburn of CUESA, currently operating markets in several San Francisco Bay area locations including the Ferry Building, and other market stakeholders.  

  • Markets are Hard: Recipes for Avoiding Burnout – Sarah Marshall, Marshall’s Haute Sauce

Before diving head first into the world of farmers markets, canning classes, and seasonal sauce making, Sarah Marshall spent 10 years working as a social worker in the Portland area. Like the life plans she designed for families and clients to keep them happy, healthy, and focused on their physical and mental health, Sarah will guide you through a healthy market vendor routine and provide ideas for incorporating self-care in order to strengthen your business. For single operator businesses and full teams, she’ll share steps anyone can take to increase motivation and excitement, while also taking care of fundamental needs.

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm – Resource Lounge Rendezvous: Reception
  • Join us for small plates and adult beverages and check out local farmers’ market artisan food vendors to take a taste of San Diego home with you at the Resource Lounge Rendezvous.
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Special screening of The Biggest Little Farm
  • Settle in over in the Captain’s Room for a pre-release screening of The Biggest Little Farm, a film that follows two dreamers and their beloved dog when they make a choice that takes them out of their tiny L.A. apartment and into the countryside to build one of the most diverse farms of its kind in complete coexistence with nature. Click here to learn more about The Biggest Little Farm.

TUESDAY, February 26th

7:30 am – 2:00 pm – Registration/Check-in
8:30 am – 9:00 am – Coffee Talk Q&A
  • Catt Fields White, InTents Conference | San Diego Markets
9:00 am – 11:00 am – Session 6
  • The World Needs LESS Food – Brent Preston, The New Farm

Big Ag has honed the message that industrialized, chemical-intensive farming is essential to feed a growing world population, and that relying on small-scale, sustainable growers would lead to mass starvation. But is that really the case? Overproduction is the root cause of food waste – and just about every other problem in agriculture. Organic farmer, author and activist Brent Preston argues that massive overproduction of commodity crops is causing many of the biggest problems in our food system — food waste, obesity, environmental degradation and climate change. Brent weaves his lived experience as a farmer with a global perspective to challenge the idea that bigger is better, and to chart a hopeful future based on family farmers producing for the local market.

  • Reduce Waste to Increase Business – Amber Holland, Portland Farmers Markets

Farmers markets are hubs for the freshest and most nutritious produce, the hottest new flavors, and ideally the most sustainable practices. As consumer trends move towards being more environmentally conscious, farmers’ market farmers, vendors and managers have a great opportunity to capitalize on that demand. Market Operations Director Amber Holland will not only present simple, affordable ways to reduce waste and minimize single-use packaging at your booth or your market, she’ll also demonstrate how you can message those sustainable practices to attract shoppers.

 11:30 am – 12:30 pm – Session 7
  • Educating Tomorrow’s Leaders – Sagdrina Jalal, Georgia Farmers’ Market Association

Farmers Markets not only serve as a key component of local food systems, they can also anchor the entire community. Cultivating health, creating equitable and inclusive experiences, and contributing to economic vitality are three ways markets make places better. Using the FMM PRO foundation, the Georgia Farmers Market Association has developed a market leader fellowship program that guides participants through the process of achieving these goals for the local areas they support. GFMA’s Executive Director Sagdrina Jalal will share successes from her experiences with her organization’s fellowship program, Atlanta’s Center for Civic Innovation’s Food Fellowship Program and the Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance’s Food Fellows program, and the specific steps needed to develop a strong, cooperative network of leaders that help communities thrive.

  • Create a Display that Builds Sales – Ben Grimes, Dawnbreaker Farms + friends

Farmers Markets Retail experts know that people buy with their eyes first. Why do some farmers’ market tables draw shoppers close and others fall flat? Successful market farmer Ben Grimes and local San Diego vendors and farmers will demonstrate the secrets of creating a beautiful booth no matter the depth of your inventory, and building displays that sell.

2:00 pm – 4:30 pm – Session 8
  • Using Our Voices to Create Change – Amelia Moore, California Alliance of Farmers’ Markets and Ben Feldman, Farmers’ Market Coalition

Recent events have made it obvious that policy impacts us all, and can make the difference between boom and bust. Too often, in Washington and on a local level, money from big food and agriculture interests shapes policy. But what we may lack in dollars, we make up for with strength in numbers. To protect and strengthen the farmers’ market industry, we must be sure that decision makers hear our voices. Farmers’ Market Coalition Interim Director Ben Feldman and Amelia Moore of the California Alliance of Farmers’ Markets will demonstrate that you don’t have to be a policy expert to build a relationship with your elected official or demonstrate your market’s significant impact on the community. Gain tips and tools to equip you to engage in important farmers’ market policy issues to protect and strengthen your business. 

  • We are the World: Diversity & Inclusion in Farmer’s Markets – Marcy Coburn, CUESA

In 2016, CUESA’s Board of Directors approved a strategic initiative to address diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (D.E.I.J.) at markets and in their programming. In 2019, this is an open conversation about where CUESA is on the path toward increasing D.E.I.J. throughout the organization, and how much more there is to learn. Learn more about CUESA’s acknowledgment that organizational commitments that perpetuated dominant social and cultural assumptions were harmful; how they now strive to listen to non-white and non-binary communities and have begun to adopt policies that prioritize women farmers, farmers of color, immigrant farmers, and LGBTQI farmers in the markets; and how market rules and regulations can evolve to meet the changing needs of underrepresented communities.

  • Forum: The Future of Farmers’ Markets – Moderator: Catt Fields White, San Diego Markets | InTents Business
4:30 pm – 6:00 pm – Pacific Beach Farmers’ Market Meetup
  •  Wrap up your experience at the InTents Conference by visiting one of San Diego’s finest weekly markets: the Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers’ Market. Grab a bite to eat, pick up a souvenier, and make this  thriving beachside farmers’ market your last stop before heading home.


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