Minnesota Farmers' Market Association 

2020 MFMA Annual Conference Schedule

Thursday | January 16, 2020



8 a.m.

Continental Breakfast & Trade Show

8:45 a.m.

Welcome from MFMA, MFVGA & MN Apple

9 – 10:10 a.m.


“Finding Calm Water in the Rapids,” Tera Johnson, Food Finance Institute

10:10 a.m.

Break & Trade Show – Terry Haws Exhibit Hall

10:20 -11:50 a.m.

Swisshelm – Upper Level

Mini Boot Camp Warm-Up, Tera Johnson, Food Finance Institute

This session is a warmup for FFI’s four-day boot camp for food and farm enterprises. It’s designed to introduce participants to the process of transforming their enterprise from something that struggles financially to something that makes money. This is all about identifying realistic business models and developing robust financial plans. We’ll look at several potential business models, their attributes, operational and financial metrics, and financing requirements.

12-12:50 p.m.

Lunch & Trade Show – Terry Haws Exhibit Hall

1-1:50 p.m.

Swisshelm – Upper Level

MFMA Annual Meeting, Legislative Update & Grant Reports, MFMA Board & Staff

Annual meeting includes election of officers and year-in-review report. Legislative update to include bills MFMA is working on during the 2020 session. Progress shared on current grants and submitted grants.

2-2:50 p.m.

Swisshelm – Upper Level

Effective Marketing on Limited Budgets, Kim Guenther, MFMA; Pam McCarthy-Kern and David Kern, Because Collective

This session will cover effective, affordable ways in which to promote your Market. Topics will include how to develop and maintain a relevant media list, how to write a dynamic press release, and the ways in which to publicize your community events, vendors, and promotions using strategic digital marketing.

2:50-3:30 p.m.

Break & Trade Show – Terry Haws Exhibit Hall

3:30-4:20 p.m.

Swisshelm – Upper Level

Lessons Learned from the Farmers' Market Metrics Project, Emily Lund, Neighborhoods Roots; Joe Nowak, and Hikaru Peterson, University of Minnesota

This session will illustrate the Farmers’ Market Metrics Project from three angles: overview of the approach used in metrics collection (FM360), highlights from the 2019 results, and one manager’s reflection on the Metrics Project’s impact on her markets. 

4:20-5:50 p.m.

Cocktail Reception & Trade Show – Terry Haws Exhibit Hall

6 p.m.

Dinner Party & Funny Money Auction – Terry Haws Exhibit Hall

Friday | January 17, 2020



7:30-8 a.m.

Continental Breakfast & Trade Show – Terry Haws Exhibit Hall

8-8:40 a.m.

Message from Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner, Thom Petersen

8:50-9:45 a.m.

Exploring Instagram – A Fit for Your Business? Karen Lanthier and Danielle Daugaard, MDA’s Minnesota Grown

9:45-10:05 a.m.

Break & Trade Show – Terry Haws Exhibit Hall

10:15-10:55 a.m.

Swisshelm – Upper Level

All the Legal Stuff

New Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule Requirements for Farmers' Markets, Annalisa Hultberg, UMN

In 2020, the FSMA PSR adds a labeling requirement that applies to some produce vendors at farmers' markets.  Learn what the rule requires and how to help your vendors meet the requirements. 

Legal Checklist: What Vendors & Markets Need to Know & Follow, Kathy Zeman, MFMA

Licenses? Permits? Taxes? Insurance? Find out what the legal requirements are to sell at Minnesota farmers’ markets, whether you’re selling cupcakes or carrots; or selling in Baudette or Minneapolis.

11:05 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Swisshelm – Upper Level

Extreme Market Makeovers Panel, Karen Wingard, Elk River Farmers’ Market; Connie Shwecke, Otsego Farmers’ Market; Corrie Scott, Big Lake Farmers’ Market

PLUS – Special Give-Away from ProGraphics!

What makes a market attractive to customers? What makes a vendor’s booth stand out? In this panel, you will first hear from three managers on their individual markets. They will go over tips and tricks for making markets stand out and booths lure the customers in. This will be interactive; attendees will participate in the open discussion to share questions and ideas as they pertain to their vendor or market booth. There will be a drawing for a free piece of logo merchandise from Dave Erickson of ProGraphics for those in attendance of the session.

12-12:30 p.m.

Swisshelm – Upper Level

Market Networking: What’s Working & Emerging Trends, Bill Boutang, Grand Rapids Farmers’ Market; Elizabeth Day, Four Sisters Farmers’ Market

Data collection. Vendor composition. Shifting market dates & times due to extreme weather. WHAT trends are you seeing?

12:30-1:20 p.m.

Lunch & Trade Show – Terry Haws Exhibit Hall

1:30-2:20 p.m.

Swisshelm – Upper Level

Learning from Your Northern Neighbors: Growing Alaska Farmers' Markets in a Vast Landscape, Robbi Mixon, Alaska Farmers' Market Association. Robbi will describe how a group of dedicated market managers and advocates have rebuilt the Alaska Farmers' Market Association with the help of a USDA FMPP grant. Goals, strategies, partnerships, and impacts will be explored while highlighting the immense challenges Alaskans face in doing this work - rapid climate change, food insecurity, an enormous and diverse landscape, and one rogue governor, to name a few.

2:30-3:20 p.m.

Swisshelm – Upper Level

Grants: Where They Are & How They Can Work For You, Ashley Bress, MDA; Cheryal Hills, R5DC

Do you need funding for your new great idea or to sustain your project? We’ll explore current and upcoming grant opportunities that might be a good fit for your venture, and you’ll learn grant writing tips and tricks from experienced grant recipients and grantmakers. Content will apply to non-profit organizations, for-profit businesses, and producers.

3:30-4:20 p.m.

Swisshelm – Upper Level

SNAP EBT, Market Bucks, WIC, eWIC, FMNP, Rachel Holmes, Hunger Solutions; David Nicholson, North Node Consulting; Jesse Davis, MFMA; Rosemary Lien, MN DHS

Get the latest updates on the many food access programs available at farmers’ markets.

MFMA provides services, programs and leadership that support and promote farmers' markets across Minnesota.

Minnesota Farmers' Market Association /// 9800 155th Street East, Nerstrand MN 55053 /// info@mfma.org 

Communications Director: Kim Guenther /// kguenther@mfma.org /// (573) 470-4445 

Director of Member Services: Jesse Davis /// jdavis@mfma.org /// (218) 259-9675 

Executive Director: Kathy Zeman /// kzeman@mfma.org /// (507) 664-9446 


Copyright MFMA 2019

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