InTents: The Farmers Market Conference 2020

Arriving in San Diego a day early? Visit our Little Italy Mercato Farmers’ Market on Saturday from 8am – 2pm!

SUNDAY, February 2, 2020

11:00 am-2:00 pm – Registration/Check-in

12:00-3:00 pm – Food and snacks available for purchase at the Good Food Bar

2:00-5:00 pm – Conference Welcome and Session 1

Farmers’ Markets Change Lives – Catt Fields White, The Farmers’ Market Pros & San Diego Markets

Changing the financial sustainability for small farmers, offering a low barrier to entry for small businesses, creating community gathering places. This is no ordinary job we’re doing.

Telling Your Story, Building Your Business – Cat Neville, TasteMAKERS and Jenny Yang, Phoenix Bean

Cat Neville is the host of the popular PBS series TasteMAKERS, spotlighting food and beverage makers and the farmers who supply their ingredients throughout the US. On episode 12 of Season 1, Cat featured Jenny Yang and the local farmers who grow the soybeans for her thriving Phoenix Bean tofu business. Jenny sells a wide array of tofu products at four weekly Chicago area farmers’ markets and wholesale to groceries and restaurants throughout the Midwest. They’re back together to talk about telling your story while you build your business, and the challenges of reducing manufacturing waste and maintaining an active farmers’ market business and wholesale sales simultaneously.

Protect Your Market, Protect Your Business – Chris Van Leeuwen, Veracity Insurance

Veracity Insurance includes FLIP, the Food Liability Insurance Program, and ACT Insurance for artists and craftspeople, names that turn up often on market insurance certificates. Chris will update farmers’ market managers and participants on what to watch for when purchasing insurance, and how to avoid costly claims. Submit your questions now to get answers to your risk management concerns in this session.

Keep Farmers Farming, Save the Planet – John Piotti, American Farmland Trust

With the average age of farmers continuing to increase, and new farmers competing with developers for property, America is losing farmland and topsoil at an alarming rate. We need to retain farmland to preserve our food supply, and actively managing it to draw down carbon from the air is our greatest hope in combating climate change. Explore how farmers’ markets and American Farmland Trust can work together to increase financial security for small farmers, and a healthier planet for all of us.

5:00-6:00 pm – Farm Flavors Reception

Meet and greet, nibble and sip with your fellow attendees and The Farmers’ Market Conference speakers at the Farm Flavors Reception with a sunset view of the marina in the Resource Lounge, hosted by American Farmland Trust. (Reception included in your all-access ticket)

6:30-8:30 pm – Dinner Meet-ups

After the reception, join us for a fundraising dinner to support American Farmland Trust. Reserve your seats here at a special rate for conference attendees.

Or, head out on your own or with old and new friends to your choice of local Farm to Fork San Diego restaurants (list available at registration).

MONDAY, February 3, 2020

7:30 am–2:00 pm – Registration/Check-in

7:30 am–2:00 pm – Good Food Bar open with coffee and local snacks for purchase

8:30–10:30 am – Session 2

Changing Our Food, Changing Our Communities – Mark Winne, Author and Food Systems Consultant

How do you rise above bureaucracy, politics, regulatory agencies and budget concerns to make a difference in your local community? What resources can you tap to strengthen your market and your business? The author of Food Town USA and Stand Together or Starve Alone, Mark Winne addresses how local coalitions of farmers market participants, food system organizations and policy makers have used food to change the quality of life. Not just in recognized culinary hubs, but in cities ravaged by economic downturns, opioid addiction and racial and political divides, local food can be unifying. Individual farmers’ market managers, farmers and local food makers often lead the way. Join the conversation and discover how you can be the change.

Creating Radical Partnerships – Beverly Grant, Mo’ Better Green Marketplace, Denver, CO

Maintaining engagement between communities and markets is no accident. Beverly Grant shares the specifics of designing markets, outreach and education programs and provides details of her “Community Weaving” process to include funding sources, farmers and vendors, and local community groups in Radical Partnerships. Beverly founded and manages markets in several locations in Denver, Colorado, with support from sponsor organizations, and meets the communities surrounding her markets where they are to achieve success for all participants.

11:00 am–12:30 pm – Session 3

11:00-11:30 am

Workshop: Farmers’ Market Legal Toolkit – Ben Feldman, Executive Director Farmers’ Market Coalition

*For Market Managers

The Farmers Market Legal Toolkit was developed in partnership with the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, Center for Agriculture and Food Systems and the Farmers’ Market Coalition. FMC Executive Director Ben Feldman will help you explore this valuable resource and focus specifically on free speech issues at farmers’ markets that have been in the news in recent months. Understanding your legal rights and best practices when it comes to moderating disagreements between political groups, activists and market participants could help you avoid a PR disaster or even a lawsuit.

Workshop: Make Your Display Sell – Nathan Macaulay, Apricot Lane Farms & Sarah Marshall, Marshall’s Haute Sauce

*For Farmers & Food Makers

How do you build an effective and abundant display and minimize waste? How importance is clear signage? These successful farmers and food makers will demonstrate smart ways to spot check your display, increase sales, and provide simple take-aways that keep customers coming back.

11:30 am-12:30 pm

Round Table: Beating Farmers’ Market Burnout – Moderators: Helena Sylvester, Happy Acre Farm; Pascale Le Draoulec, Morning Glory Markets; and Brijet Myers, San Diego Markets

*For Everyone

The farmers’ market life is a great one, but at some point we all get tired of missing every one of our friends’ Saturday birthday parties. Dealing with low-level (or worse) sexual harassment from customers, over-eager samplers, cranky neighbors and uninvited guests like petition signature collectors and solicitors can drag you down. How do you control your environment and still stay welcome and customer service oriented? How do you de-stress from market demands? At what point do you consider taking a break? Join your market managers or farmers-and-vendors tribe, then we’ll bring the whole group together to talk about how we can all support each other.

12:30–2:00 pm – Lunch Market with local vendors & networking in Resource Lounge

DURING THE BREAK, join Greg Plotkin of American Farmland Trust at 1 pm in the resource lounge for a half hour discussion over lunch on ways to elevate AFT’s annual Farmers’ Market Celebration campaign.

2:00–2:45 pm – Session 4

Workshop: By the Numbers: What to Count and Why it Matters – Alfonso Morales, University of Wisconsin Madison & Farm2Facts and Chris Quinlan of Marketwurks

*For Market Managers

Dr. Alfonso Morales and his team of graduate students have developed surveys and undertaken data collection on a large scale, in cooperation with the Farmers Market Coalition. They continue to work toward a comprehensive picture of farmers’ markets economic impact and have developed the Farm2Facts toolkit to help individual markets collect data. This session will explore what all that means, what can you do to contribute, and explore real-life ways you can use the information gathered to benefit your market. Reports with real numbers go a long way when approaching stakeholders from local business associations and potential sponsors to city permitting authorities and grant funders. Learn how to make the numbers work for you.

Workshop: Farmers Markets, Retail and Online, Oh My! – Sena Wheeler, Sena Sea Seafood and Meghan Dolly, The Loose Leaf

*For Farmers & Food Makers

Multiple income streams are just smart: remember that saying about not having all of your eggs in one basket? Farmers’ markets are a great high profile home base for all of your endeavors if you stay aware. Sena Wheeler will share how her farmers’ markets have lead to doubling overall revenue each year for five straight years, getting a Food & Wine feature from a local blogger/market shopper, and scoring major wholesale and restaurant accounts after meeting buyers at markets. Meghan Dolly will talk about what to think about if you’re considering adding your own brick and mortar to the mix, and share her journey from tent to shop and back again. Gain tips on being ready to take advantage of opportunities at the markets and beyond and staffing to achieve those goals.

3:00–5:30 pm – Session 5

What Do Shoppers Really Want? – Charlotte Smith, Three Cow Marketing

How do you compete with grocery delivery systems and Amazon? What if much of what you think you know about what shoppers want is wrong? Charlotte Smith will help you learn to get inside their heads and know just what mix of products and pricing will keep them coming back to your market, and your booth, week after week. Use all the tools at your disposal and proven techniques to focus on identifying people’s needs and building connections with the right shoppers to build customer loyalty and sales. Best selling author of Farm Marketing from the Heart, and named one of the top 25 Most Influential Women in Food & Ag by Food Tank, The Farmers ‘Market Conference favorite Charlotte Smith teaches small business operators to succeed using relationship-based digital marketing and strategic mindset coaching.

Your Life, Your Brand: Using an Authentic Voice – Helena Sylvester, Happy Acre Farm

As the face of Happy Acre Farm, Helena gives 48,000+ followers on Instagram an inside look at farm and market life with her husband, her son and her dog. She doesn’t usually sugarcoat it. How do you find your authentic voice and express yourself online, at your market booth and at home? People like to buy from people they know. How well do you want to be known?

Fresh Photos: Better Food, Farm and Market Photography – Lori Rice, Lori Rice Photography

Whether you’re posting on social media, need photos for your email newsletter or (hallelujah!) a magazine writer has asked for print quality photos to include your market or business in an article, quality photos are within reach even without a big budget. This session will provide tips and tactics to capture beautiful photographs with a professional camera or with your handy smartphone. Lori Rice is a food and beverage stylist and photographer who works with major brands, farmers markets and AG boards. She’s also the author of Food on Tap: Cooking with Craft Beer, and her new book Beer Bread releases February 4th. Join us for a local beer tasting and book signing after this session.

6:00-7:30 pm – Beer Bread Release Party at Amplified Aleworks

Enjoy dinner and San Diego’s local craft brews at Amplified Aleworks in Pacific Beach. Be the first to purchase a signed copy of Lori Rice’s new book Beer Bread, and sample breads made from recipes in the book by local baker Christina Ng of Chinita’s Pies. ($10 dinner ticket included in all-access pass, additional food and craft beer available for purchase.)

TUESDAY, February 4, 2020

7:30 am–2:00 pm – Registration/Check-in

7:30 am–2:00 pm – Good Food Bar open with coffee and local snacks for purchase

8:00–8:30 am  Vendor-101: Preparing New Vendors for Success

Conversation with Catt Fields White, The Farmers Market Pros & San Diego Markets

Helping new farmers and food makers determine whether farmers’ market life is right for them can mean an easier time for both managers and vendors, and less turnover in the markets. It can also reduce time spent on both sides with people who aren’t good candidates for a market business. Should you establish, or participate in, a Vendor-101 program?

8:30 am–12:30 pm – Session 6

Balancing Food Access and Market Financial Health – Hugo Mogollon, FRESHFARM

When FRESHFARM and Community Foodworks merged in late 2019, they became the third largest farmers’ market organization in the US, operating 33 very small to medium sized markets in Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland. Hugo Mogollon, well known as a visionary food system leader, was Executive Director of Community Foodworks and will now direct the combined organization. Both groups have been strongly committed to increasing food access and nutrition education, even as they have recognized the importance of maximizing financial sustainability for producers. How do they balance those two priorities? And how do they hire, train and maintain the staff of 60 that is on the street managing all those markets of various sizes? Join our conversation with Hugo Mogollon.

Growing Motivated Food System Participants – Darren Chapman, Tiger Mountain Foundation

Is there a labor shortage, or are we just not empowering people who want to work? There’s a motivated labor pool that many of us are overlooking. Darren Chapman’s organization is changing lives, creating futures and building a healthier community around urban farms and farmers’ markets in Phoenix, Arizona.

Growing a Market Team – Nathan Macaulay, Apricot Lane Farms

As the sales director for Apricot Lane Farms, featured in the hit film The Biggest Little Farm, Nathan Macaulay manages a team that operates stands at six farmers’ markets each week, as well as filling retail and restaurant orders. In an ever changing employment environment, he’ll share his methods for recruiting, training and retaining staff to keep all those markets running.

Planning Your Team’s Future – Leigh Sloss Cora, The Market at Pepper Place

To the untrained eye, it looks like easy: pretty tents filled with colorful vegetables and food. But behind the scenes, it takes plenty of effort to keep a market running and vibrant. As markets grow and mature, founders and senior managers may start thinking of moving on to new challenges, or to retirement. Strategic planning can keep the existing team involved and engaged in new ventures, and bring new managers into place without disrupting market operations and growth.

12:30–2:00 pm – Lunch Market with local vendors & networking in Resource Lounge

DURING THE BREAK, join Charlotte Smith of 3 Cow Marketing at 1 pm  in the resource lounge for a half hour discussion over lunch about Promoting Your Market with a Facebook Group – Charlotte Smith, 3 Cow Marketing 

2:00–5:00 pm – Session 7

Are you a TasteMAKER?– Cat Neville, journalist and host of PBS’ TasteMAKERS on PBS

With the launch of Season 2 of TasteMAKERS Cat will share the process for discovering new food makers and farmers to feature on her popular show, and digging in to their stories. Then 5 conference attendees will each have 5 minutes to pitch their stories and try to interest Cat in including them in Season 3. Tell us why you should be one of those five here.

Whose Vision Is It? – Pascale Le Draoulec, Morning Glory Markets

Whether your market is a function of city government, hosted on public streets or private property, there’s a good chance it’s involves a collaboration between a host organization’s board or bureaucracy and market management. Each constituency may have slightly different goals, needs and personalities. How do you adjust your game to the individual market’s needs while staying true to your mission and your vision? Pascale Le Draoulec and her small team operate markets in five upstate New York communities for five different host organizations, and one inside the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.

Finding Your Place at a Bigger Table – Sarah Marshall, Marshall’s Haute Sauce

It just makes sense that the various parts of the food system should work together. Farmers’ markets, food makers and farmers, chefs and community groups are all in the same boat, and yet sometimes it seems that the individual players remain inexplicably unaware of what each can offer the other. Co-owner of Marshall’s Haute Sauce, author of Preservation Pantry and host of The Meaningful Marketplace podcast has some ideas about solving that.

5:00-7:00 pm – Pacific Beach Farmers’ Market Meet-up

Wrap up your experience at InTents: The Farmers Market Conference with a meet-up at the nearby Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmers’ Market. Grab a bite to eat, pick up a souvenir, and make this thriving beachside farmers’ market your last stop before heading home.

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