1. Celebrate: Join in “Celebrating Farmers Market Milestones” during the Michigan Farmers Market Association’s (MIFMA) 10th birthday year! During this celebration, we will also recognize the milestones that farmers markets across the state have reached over the years.
2. Learn: At the conference, you will have the opportunity to choose from 15 educational tracks designed to fit the needs of beginning market managers, advanced market managers, and farmers and vendors. Take a glance the breakout session topics – click here.
3. Connect: Michigan is a large state, providing minimal opportunities for market managers and farmers/vendors to get together and connect face-to-face on crucial topics related to farmers markets. The conference is a fantastic way to connect with peers on things that matter most to you.
4. Keynote Panel: In celebration of MIFMA’s 10th birthday, our keynote panel will consist of three of MIFMA’s founding members. Panelists will reflect on how and why MIFMA was formed, how MIFMA and the Michigan farmers markets community has changed in the past ten years and what they think the future holds for the organization and the local food system. The presentation will also include recognition of all of MIFMA’s charter members!
5. Annual Meeting: MIFMA will be hosting its Annual Meeting on Wednesday, March 8 from 8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. All current members are invited to attend for a brief overview of 2016 activities and to learn about new opportunities for 2017. The meeting will also include voting on the 2017 MIFMA Board Slate of Candidates.
6. Membership Engagement: During the conference, MIFMA will be hosting a session titled, “What can MIFMA do for you?” This session will provide an overview of what a membership through MIFMA looks like and how you or your organization can benefit from it.
7. Racial Equity & Inclusion: MIFMA is engaging in conversations and taking intentional action toward making racial equity and inclusion an organizational priority. To help with that engagement through conversation, a breakout session on this topic titled “Building Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Farmers Markets” will be held during the conference!
8. SNAP Authorization: The conference will allow you to schedule a one-on-one meeting with USDA’s Food Nutrition Services team to get apply to accept SNAP at your market (call 517-432-3381 to schedule). Your application could even be approved on-site.
9. Mentorship Program Meet & Greet: For market managers partaking in the Market Manager Mentorship Program there is an opportunity to connect with others in the program over lunch, at a meet and greet, on Wednesday, March 8. Learn more about your mentor or mentee and share the goals you have for your farmers market in 2017!
10. Continuing Education for Certified Market Managers: If you are certified through MIFMA’s Market Manager Certificate Program it is important to know that many of the breakout sessions during the conference qualify for Professional Development Hours toward re-certification. Keep an eye out for sessions in the conference agenda that have the MIFMA open umbrella icon next to them. This signifies that a session qualifies!
BONUS Gather & Network: MIFMA is all about making sure there is some fun to be had while we are all learning and growing in our work! Join us for the Conference Social on Tuesday evening, March 7 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. in the Conservatory for live music, beverages, and delicious local food! Registration is required and the cost is $25. You can register by calling the MIFMA office at 517-432-3381.