Berkeley Springs Farmers Market chosen for statewide training network
The West Virginia Farmers Market Association has selected Berkeley Springs Farmers Market as one of 10 markets for its statewide Farmers Market Training Network Pilot Program.
With the number of farmers markets in West Virginia tripling over the past decade, interest in local foods is on the rise.
To support the efforts of markets and co-ops around the state, the West Virginia Farmers Market Association is launching a pilot program aimed at forming a training network for markets in all stages of development.
The program is designed to provide training, networking opportunities and technical assistance to selected markets. The goal is to keep more money circulating in local communities by boosting the long-term success of farmers markets and profitability of vendors.
Developed in partnership with the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition, WVU Extension Service and the West Virginia Community Development Hub, the purpose of the program is to strengthen the long-term viability of farmers markets and the income-earning capacity of their vendors through targeted technical assistance and peer networking.
Funding is provided by a grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.
“We had a great pool of applicants to choose from, and I think we have done a good job of selecting markets from all over the state that can really get maximum impact from this program,” said Larry Lower, president. of the State Farmers Market Association.
During the 2012 and 2013 market seasons, representatives of the 10 selected markets will attend training and networking events, receive assistance from a qualified consultant on a topic of their choosing, and will be eligible to apply for a mini-grant of up to $1,000.
Participants will have access to experts on topics such as risk management, long term business planning and producer development.