Wednesday, July 16, 2008

News for Missouri Markets

In the next couple days all markets will be receiving a letter and Missouri Farmers’ Market Survey from the Missouri Dept. of Agriculture about upcoming marketing opportunities available for markets and vendors.

Working Local Foods Area at Missouri State Fair
The MDA is asking for volunteers that would be interested in helping out at the Missouri State Fair with the on-site farmers’ market and local foods area this year in the Ag Building at the fair as well as the Horticulture Contest. Both events are held in the Ag Building on the Missouri State Fairgrounds which is air conditioned, so fighting the August heat won’t be an issue.

The area is called “Buy Missouri… Buy Local, Eat Local…Go 4 It!” based around the Missouri’s local products. The area will have a real farmers’ market where all Missouri State Fair attendants can purchase fresh produce and other local products. (This area is sponsored by the Missouri Farmers' Market Association and AgriMissouri.)

We are in need of volunteers to help this farmers’ market area be a success. Each day of the fair—August 7-17, 2008—we will need one or two helpers. Volunteering would consist of working the market, selling produce, and handing out surveys and local food brochures/information to visitors.

Market Booths at Tour of Missouri Bike Race
Farmers’ markets also have the opportunity to participate in the Tour of Missouri Bike Race’s Health Expo (promoting their market and eating healthy which is free of charge through AgriMissouri). The Health Expo will be held at each of the start cities of the bike race. Any farmers’ market is welcome to set up a booth for promotion at this event and will be provided a 10’ x 10’ tent, 8’ table, and two chairs. This is a first come basis, therefore the first market to contact me will have their choice of location. Here are the start cities and dates:

Monday, Sept. 8 – St. Joseph
Tuesday, Sept. 9 – Clinton
Thursday, Sept. 11 – Lebanon
Friday, Sept. 12 – St. James
Saturday, Sept. 13 – Hermann

Missouri Farmers' Market Survey
Also, the Missouri Department of Agriculture is distributing a Missouri Farmers’ Market Survey, which you will find included with this letter. This survey is only two pages long and can be filled out by only the farmers’ market manager or vendors that sell at market. Your cooperation is essential so MDA will know how to serve Missouri’s farmers’ markets in the best way possible in the future. We would like all surveys returned to MDA by September 30, 2008.

If you are interested in helping with either the on-site farmers’ market at the Missouri State Fair, the horticulture contest, or if your market would like to set up a booth at the Tour of Missouri Bike Race’s Health Expo, please contact me at or (573) 526-4984.

Re-oreder Canvas Tote Bags
Markets can re-order the canvas tote bags through the MDA as well. I’ve included a new order form for your market. We have had great success with providing markets with the tote bags and I’ve heard lots of great things from markets that are currently selling the bags within their community.

Thanks for your cooperation and hope you have a successful market season!

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