Here’s What MIFMA has Coming up for Farmers and Vendors

MIFMA has kicked off 2017 with a handful of awesome opportunities to learn, grow, and make your business the very best this year. Consider taking full advantage of your MIFMA member benefits, and start by participating in one or more of our professional development opportunities!

2016 Michigan Farmers Market Vendor Survey
MIFMA needs your help in completing this survey in order to promote, market, and raise consumer awareness of the great produce farmers markets offer in Michigan! Please help us by completing this survey.

MIFMA is excited to expand promotion and marketing activities to increase how much Michigan families know about  – and spend on  – specialty crops, like fruits and vegetables, nuts, plants, and flowers. To measure success, we are trying to establish a baseline in sales, gathering information about how much, in dollars, vendors sold in specialty crops at Michigan farmers markets. This will allow MIFMA to document an increase in sales at the end of the project. This project is being funded by a USDA Specialty Crop Blog Grant through the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, grant number 791N7700189.

The information will not be shared publicly, and any reports will only be available in an aggregate form. We are asking you about annual sales. Remember, your individual sales information will not be shared, and you have the opportunity to report anonymously.
Help MIFMA by filling out the survey – click here!

Michigan Farmers Market Conference
MIFMA is hosting its annual Michigan Farmers Market Conference – “Celebrating Farmers Market Milestones”, on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 7 and 8, 2017 at the Plant and Soil Sciences Building on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. This year’s event expects to bring together more than 200 individuals to celebrate MIFMA’s 10th anniversary and the many milestones that the Michigan farmers market community has reached over the last 10 years. The 2017 conference will engage farmer and vendor attendees in the following breakout sessions: Peppers, Cucumbers, Basil & More: Summer Hoophouse Crop Options that Aren’t Tomatoes; Tour of the MSU Meat Lab; Marketing Your Small Farm; Food Trucks, Inside and Out.
Register now for the conference!

Conference Social
MIFMA will host a Conference Social on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., following the first day of the conference, in the Conservatory of the Plant and Soil Sciences Building. The social is a casual networking event that will feature live music, refreshments, and a selection of food items from local food companies. A great networking opportunity and a fun way to spend your evening while at the conference! Tickets for the social are $25 per person and can be purchased as part of your conference registration or separately by contacting the MIFMA office at 517-432-3381.

Marketing and Promotions for Your Business Workshops
These five workshops are specifically designed for farmers and small business owners selling at farmers markets. The Bath Farmers Market, with support from MIFMA, will host these workshops presented by experts in the fields of branding, marketing, and social media. Attendees will be provided with practical tips and ideas on how to better market their businesses! Workshops are free, and registration is required. Individuals unable to attend in-person, have the option to view the workshop via live web streaming.
Register now for one or more of the workshops!

Creating a Budget to Support Your Marketing Plan
Monday, March 13
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Best Practices for Engaging Facebook Posts
Monday, March 20
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Instagram – The Power of Photos
Monday, March 27
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Merchandising and Promotions to Sell Your Brand
Monday, April 3
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Getting Permission and Giving Credit
Monday, April 10
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Webinar: Successful Hoophouse Growing & Marketing Strategies

Basic Hoophouse/High Tunnel Design and Structure Options
February 7, 2017
8:00 – 9:00 p.m. EST
The webinar is free, and all you have to do is register.
Register now 

Webinar: Accepting SNAP as Michigan Direct Marketing Farms and Farmers
Expanding your customer base is important to any food or farm business that sells directly to consumers. One way to make your farm or business accessible to more customers is by accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP) benefits distributed via the Michigan Bridge Card. Accepting SNAP creates a win-win opportunity for your business and the health of your community. You can expand your customer base and increase revenue for your business while at the same time increasing access to fresh, nutritious, local food for residents of your community. Attend this free webinar on Tuesday, February 23, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. to learn how to get started with accepting SNAP and the major benefits!
Register now for this webinar!
We hope to see you at one of the upcoming events, which offer great educational resources as well as networking opportunities for the whole Michigan farmers market community. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for more information about upcoming events and happenings!