Minnesota Farmers' Market Association 

The Conferences!

Minnesota Farmers' Market Association

Upper Midwest Fruit and Vegetable Growers

Minnesota Cottage Foods Producers

January 17-18, 2019

River's Edge Convention Center

10 4th Avenue South, St. Cloud MN 56301

We are SO excited to expand our conference offerings and join the MN Fruit and Vegetable Growers this year for a 2-day event in St. Cloud! Additionally, we're kicking off the 1st ever annual Minnesota Cottage Foods Producers conference. Welcome All!

Over the two days, you can choose from 71+ breakout sessions, plus enjoy featured speakers like:

    • Paul Douglas, Meteorologist. Douglas will present climate change data - and solutions for growing food in a changing climate.
    • Kimberly Olson, Grandma's Gourmets. From 4-H jam to the Pickle Bill to wholesale accounts, sourcing local foods from her area farmers is key to Olson's award-winning foods. 
    • Shannon Berns, Du Nord Consulting. Berns gets us: "Marketing is the root of our businesses yet it is the last thing focused on." Marketing for us!
    • Updates from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Minnesota Grown.

Click here for the 20+ workshops specific to MFMA and the MN Cottage Foods Producers.

Click here for the 71+ workshops (includes MFVGA) - available to everyone.

"Marketing is the root of our businesses yet it is the last thing focused on."

Shannon will teach us how to use social media to create a market for our products, farms, farmers' markets.

 Shannon Berns of Du Nord Consulting is an outdoor enthusiast who finds adventure in everything she does. 

She works directly with businesses and entrepreneurs to navigate their organization toward growth. Shannon believes in the importance of supporting and engaging a collaborative environment for our business community. In your backyard or across the globe.

Paul Douglas is Minnesota’s first American Meteorology Society (AMS) Certified Broadcast Meteorologist, with a 40-year on-air career in television, radio, print and online.  Douglas is Founder and Senior Meteorologist at Praedictix, which focuses on media, corporate briefings and forensic meteorology.  In 2011 his companies helped to launch “WeatherNation TV”, a new national 24-7 weather channel.

~ Keynote ~

A Rapidly Changing Climate:

Threat - And Opportunity 

"...The climate is changing, it’s us – and there are solutions. Climate volatility and weather disruption will continue to increase. Everything we create will have to be more resilient, storm-resistant, flood-tolerant and drought-proof; from how we design our cities, build our homes, repair our roads to how we grow our crops. There will be dislocation, but Minnesota will make out considerably better than most of the United States, for a variety of reasons. Solutions won’t come from Big Government, but from the markets - entrepreneurs inventing new, carbon-free ways to keep the lights on, the economy powered up and people employed. The world isn’t ending, it’s warming. That brings benefits and risk, threats and opportunities. There’s no time for gloom and doom. The situation isn’t hopeless – and we aren’t helpless..." 

~ Cottage Foods Producers Keynote ~

From Home to Wholesale

Kim Olson's path to her Grandma's Gourmets company began back in 1977 - making jam and showing it at her county fair. Most of her recipes started with "Grandma's recipe" and then Kim made them her own. She sold from her home kitchen under the old "Pickle Bill" and now has her own warehouse and sells direct, caters, and wholesales her many products. Her canned products have won the Good Food Awards, the Scovie Award, and was just awarded the Innovative Local Sourcing Award at FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace 2018. Come learn from a cottage foods producer who is now an award winning, licensed, wholesale food producer!

Farmers' Markets and Cottage Foods Presentations

  • Update on food licensing, exclusions and exemptions
  • Food access program updates: SNAP and Market Bucks; changes to the WIC / FVV programs, PoP, and more
  • Ask A Manager Panels: 
      • trouble at the market
      • pricing your market correctly
      • recordkeeping
      • strategies to increase customers
      • checklist for beginning markets
  • Social Media 101 and Advanced Social Media
  • MN Dept. of Revenue: Taxes at a Farmers' Market
  • Q&A with the MDA on the CFL
  • Testing cottage foods: pH, water activity
  • Best business model for markets or vendors: LLC? LLP? Sole Proprietor?
  • What do general & product liability insurance policies really cover?
  • Ask A Cottage Foods Producer Panel: Best Practices
  • Food Demos: decorating, cookies, buttercream flowers, canning
  • And more!

Hotel Info

Best Western Plus Kelly Inn, 100 4th Avenue South, St. Cloud MN 56301. Call (320) 253-0606 or click here for online bookingWe have rooms reserved at a special conference rate of $98 (plus taxes) until January 1, 2019 - so book yours now! 

Registration Fees

Included in registration fees: all workshops and handouts, light breakfast, lunch, snacks and beverages.

MFMA Member Registration Options

SPECIAL!!  MFMA will give a $25 gift card per membership to MFMA members who attend the conference!

First Person Options

  • Full Conference (Thursday & Friday) - Member = $175
  • Thursday Only - Member = $125
  • Friday Only - Cottage Foods Producers - Member = $80

Additional Attendee Options

  • Full Conference - $125 Per Additional Member
  • Thursday Only Per Additional Member = $100
  • Friday Only Per Additional Member = $70

Non-Member Registration Options

First Person Options

  • Full Conference (Thursday & Friday) - Non-Member = $300
  • Thursday Only - Non-Member = $200
  • Friday Only - Cottage Foods Producers - Non-Member = $80

Additional Attendee Options

  • Full Conference = $300 Per Additional Non-Member
  • Thursday Only Per Additional Non-Member = $200
  • Friday Only Per Additional Non-Member = $70

Registration is only available onsite now!

Feel free to walk-in and register.

We look forward to seeing you at the Conference!

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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 

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

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


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