Washington State Farmers Market Association Executive Director Will O’Donnell said they spend a lot of their touring markets and connecting with vendors and market managers.
“I like to be able to go on the ground and see what everybody’s doing, see the ways that they’re all unique, see which ways that we can help out. Just get a sense for how farmers markets are operating. Our goal is to make the farmers markets as strong as they can be, so it’s great to be able to see in person what their opportunities and challenges are.”
O’Donnell said these trips are often inspiring for him to continue to work with farmers markets and make them better and that these visits are becoming a high priority for the WSFMA.
As O’Donnell and his team go through these markets and make the connections, they can connect market managers or vendors to others who have solved problems, or provide solutions themselves.
O’Donnell did note that there is one solution that nearly all markets are looking for.
“When we do surveys, one of the biggest barriers to people shopping at farmers markets is just not knowing they’re happening, when they’re happening, what the hours are and getting the word out. That job always needs to be done.”
O’Donnell and his team said they were very impressed with all the market tours they took throughout Central and Eastern Washington.
If you have a story idea for the Washington Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.