Tuesday, March 15, 2016

NY Begins Farmers' Market Manager Certification Program

The state is beginning a program to train farmers' markets managers.

The state Department of Agriculture and Markets and The Farmers’ Market Federation of NY in Syracuse, in partnership with SUNY Cobleskill and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, announced Monday the Farmers’ Market Managers Professional Certification Course.

The FMM PRO program is poised to grow and professionalize New York’s increasing number of farmers’ markets and create New York state’s first market manager certification designation, which is recognized through the SUNY system.  

FMM PRO also is geared toward opening new markets and increasing opportunities for New York state agriculture producers.

A growing demand from consumers for fresh, healthy local foods has brought an increase in the number of farmers’ markets across the state.  New York state is home to 646 farmers’ markets, up nearly 35 percent from just five years ago.
The FMM PRO program provides an online curriculum to ensure the quality and performance of farmers’ markets across the state. The 22 unique training modules will help market managers better organize, administer and promote their markets.

The FMM PRO course curriculum includes all aspects of maintaining and growing a successful farmers’ market and is broken down into three modules:
1.     Nuts and Bolts of Managing Markets
2.     Reaching Out to the Market Community
3.     Building Market Systems
Program participants who complete the full curriculum will receive a certificate and earn the title of Certified Market Manager. As a FMM PRO Certified Market Manager, graduates of the program will:
**   Be fully knowledgeable in today’s best practices for managing farmers’ markets
**   Learn tactics to expand and optimize their farmers’ market
**  Be equipped to build successful relationships with farmers and shoppers
**  Be able to use their certification to leverage funding and support for their market
The cost of the SUNY Farmers’ Market Managers Professional Certification is $200 for 12 months of access to the online curriculum.  Discounts are available for multiple registrations for market organizations.  

Participants need to complete all 22 sessions within this time frame, including a quiz and homework assignment from each section in order to receive certification. 

In addition, they will need to earn two continuing education credits bi-annually by attending special sessions at the Federation’s annual Farmers’ Market Managers Conference and/or specified manager training webinars in order to maintain their certification.  

The program is also available to out-of-state participants. 
Registration for the course is ongoing, enabling participants to register and complete the full curriculum at their convenience. To register, a participant will need to complete an online application and submit payment online. Once your payment is received, participants will be emailed a code to access the online course. 

To register for FMM Pro: Farmers’ Market Managers Certification Program, go to  http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/fmmpro

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