FMM Pro: SUNY Farmers Market Managers Certification Program

The Georgia Farmers Market Association is committed to increasing access to local foods across the state of Georgia. Throughout history, farmers markets have been the hub for buying and selling local foods all over the world, a tradition carried out in communities in Georgia to this day. While farmers markets have been a staple of most communities, they have been met with obstacles that challenge their ability to effectively serve the local community. One problem that can directly challenge a market’s existence is its ability to retain the market manager. Market managers serve the market by aggregating local farmers, managing the  market’s operations, creating funding opportunities and marketing opportunities. The work of a market manager can be difficult, and many times it follows a learn-as-you-go training model. When there are questions or challenges that present themselves, market managers do not always have someone to turn to. Without the additional layer of support or background knowledge that managers in other fields may have, market managers may face many of their challenges alone.

GFMA has observed these challenges and spoke directly with managers all over Georgia to better understand how to address them. We are now happy to introduce our partnership with the State University of New York (SUNY) Market Manager Certification Program! SUNY provides 22 workshop experience aimed at preparing market managers for the market season and addressing the challenges that they may face.  While the modules are scheduled to occur once a week through May, some weeks will have two modules scheduled.GFMA will be introducing the certification program through a pilot beginning January 18 though May 31, 2016 to a select group of markets. Beyond this, markets are allowed to join at any time (the program must be completed in a year).

Through GFMA’s partnership with SUNY, Georgia will be one of the first states to certify market managers in the country! We are thrilled about this new partnership and cannot wait to begin this step to enhancing the farmers market experience across Georgia. If you would like to be considered for the pilot, sign up here!

For information on the SUNY Certification program, check out their website: http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/fmm-pro-suny-farmers-market-managers-certification-program/