Announcing the Formation of the North Carolina Farmers Market Network (NCFMN)
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The newly-established North Carolina Farmers Market Network (NCFMN) seeks to lift up farmers markets and support market managers. The NCFMN was formally incorporated as a nonprofit following several years of statewide Zoom calls for NC farmers market managers. Originally organized in 2020 to help NC market managers operate safely through theCOVID-19 pandemic, the calls grew to include a wider range of relevant topics, such as marketing tips, best practices for tracking data, grant writing, fundraising and much more.
In 2022 the NCFMN applied for and was awarded a USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program Capacity Building grant to formally establish and grow the organization as a nonprofit. It was approved for its 501c3 nonprofit status in the spring of 2023, and was able to hire a part-time staff member, Nora Rodli, as the Program Coordinator. Nora is responsible for leading efforts in establishing an online presence, strengthening the network, offering education and training opportunities to market managers and helping to build resources to support markets statewide.
The mission of the NCFMN is to work with and for farmers market communities to create a thriving network of marketplaces for local food and farm products through education, innovative services, programs and partnerships, including resources to support historically underserved populations.
The NCFMN is transitioning now from de facto network members to a formal membership network with clearly outlined benefits, an annual membership meeting, collective advocacy initiatives, voting and annual dues. It is seeking market managers or other representatives of Farmers Markets located in North Carolina and staff of nonprofit organizations, government institutions or educational institutions with a mission related to local food system development to join. The NCFMN is looking forward to promoting and expanding its impact for farmers markets across North Carolina.