About 2018-07-13T00:37:11+00:00

Our Mission:

Support farmers markets through education initiatives, while building opportunities for collaboration, networking, advocacy, and innovation that supports the growth and sustainability of farmers markets statewide.

Our Story…

A small group of Virginia farmers market managers began meeting in 2010 on a semi-regular basis to strategize ways to best support the growing numbers of farmers markets throughout Virginia.

They quickly realized the enormous value of simply getting together; they could share experience, pool resources, brainstorm ideas, and learn from one another! This sparked the idea to form a farmers market managers’ association to support the educational needs of market managers in Virginia.

A Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) grant, Sustaining Virginia Farmers Markets: Establishing a Support Network for Virginia Farmers Market Managers, was submitted and awarded in the fall of 2011! The FMPP grant helped establish the Virginia Farmers Market Managers Association (VFMMA) to support the educational and professional development needs of farmers market managers, developed the beginnings of a centralized website, and increased EBT/SNAP opportunities at farmers markets. In the fall of 2012, a needs assessment was conducted among market managers, and in 2013, the association held its first annual farmers market conference. By October 2013, the Virginia Farmers Market Managers Association (VFMMA) was officially registered in the state of Virginia.

So…..you may be wondering why our name has changed since then?

In 2014, in partnership with VDACS’ Virginia Grown Program, VFMMA co-hosted the second annual farmers market conference which drew over 100 market managers from across the state. VFMMA established a steering committee out of this conference and in 2015 a group of about a dozen market managers decided the scope of the association was much broader than just supporting market managers. A unanimous decision was made to change the name to the now Virginia Farmers Market Association (VAFMA) with recognition that farmers, vendors, customers, and organizations all play a critical role in the success and sustainability of farmers markets.

In 2015, VAFMA hosted its third annual conference, Collaborate & Celebrate, continuing to build momentum and gaining valuable volunteers. VAFMA is currently developing regional associations across the state, as well as professional development workshops, such as SNAP/EBT training sessions, so market managers can work together on matters of mutual interest. We are currently partnering with Virginia Cooperative Extension in developing a Farmers Market Manager Certification program to provide the farmers market managers of Virginia with the best tools available to operate their markets. We hope to launch this new program in 2017-2018.

VAFMA continues to gain momentum as a volunteer-run organization, and we’ve galvanized new energy from the official Board of Directors. It’s an exciting (and busy) time to get involved with the VAFMA. If you’d like to participate in the development of YOUR statewide association of farmers markets, please contact us at info@vafma.org.

We work together to cultivate vibrant and sustainable farmers market communities across Virginia. 

Virginia Farmers Market Association looks forward to working with and supporting your farmers market!

JOIN TODAY!

CeCe DODD | PRESIDENT

CeCe Dodd began managing the Broadway Farmers Market in the Fall of 2014 after being a vendor for six years. She is the Executive director for the Broadway Hometown Partnership, helping coordinate community events and festivals. During the week Cece works in Public Safety Administration and spends her weekends pursuing food and community passions. CeCe joined VAFMA in 2014 and became regional lead for the Shenandoah Valley Markets in 2015.

CeCe serves on the Conference, Communication, and Programs Committees. Email CeCe

 | VICE PRESIDENT

Update Coming Soon

LISA DEARDEN | TREASURER

Lisa Dearden had over 20+ years experience in sales, marketing, finance and training when she switched gears and pursued her A.A.S. Horticulture with a focus on sustainable agriculture.  She now lives on a homestead farm in Goochland County, Virginia where she grows fruits and berries and raises chickens, goats, rabbits, alpacas and llamas.  Her company, ChiknEGG Productions, operates an incubator kitchen called the Cook ‘N Nook, which is available for rent by-the-hour, and she offers training and consulting services to food entrepreneurs and organizations looking for help navigating their entry into the local food system.  She founded and serves as Executive Director of a non-profit called RVAg that operates multiple farmers markets and provides low-cost/no-cost ag-centered educational programs. Lisa currently serves as Vice Chair of the Goochland County Economic Development Authority and as the Treasurer of the Virginia Farmers Market Association.  She frequently works as a consultant to help municipalities start and grow farmers markets of their own.

Lisa serves on the Foundation/Development, Governance, Budget, & Conference committees. Email Lisa

TRACY HERNER FREY | SECRETARY

Tracy Herner Frey is in her fourth season as market manager and executive director of the Williamsburg Farmers Market.  She was instrumental in launching the token program at the market, and is an advocate for increasing access to farmers markets throughout the Commonwealth.  The Williamsburg Farmers Market was one of nine markets to participate in Market Metrics Research, and Tracy is looking forward to using her experiences with data collection to improve capacity at markets across the Tidewater Region.

Tracy serves on the Conference, Membership, Communication, Budget, Governance and Programs Committees. Email Tracy

KATHLEEN REED | BLUE RIDGE REGION

Kathleen Reed is an agriculture and food systems professional, with over nine years of direct experience in urban and rural farming, community education and outreach, and community partnership building. Kathleen works an Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent for Virginia Cooperative Extension, serving Roanoke City, Salem, Roanoke County, and Botetourt County. She holds a Masters degree in Community Sustainability from Michigan State University.

Kathleen serves VAFMA as the Blue Ridge Regional Lead. Email Kathleen

KIM USRY | CAPITAL AREA REGION

Kim Usry is a Richmond Virginia native who grew up spending her weekends on her grandfather’s black Angus farm. After college in Florida studying Mass Communications, and a stint in California obtaining a certificate in Advertising Arts and Design, she returned to Virginia to manage that same farm for 15 years while working in public relations & advertising. She successfully pursued IT Project Management which led to IT Recruitment. Kim is an entrepreneur at heart and now managers two Richmond farmers markets and owns and operates a rainwater harvesting company. She loves her dogs, gardening, beekeeping, cooking and relaxing. Kim also participates with the Capital Area Farmers Market Association.

Email Kim

MEREDITH LEDLIE JOHNSON | CENTRAL REGION

Meredith Ledlie Johnson manages the Food Access and Availability Initiative for Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Family Nutrition Program. This program is designed to ensure that all Virginians have access to enough healthy, culturally appropriate food in their communities through increasing access to farmers markets, gardening, and healthy retail outlets. Meredith holds a Masters degree in Social Work with a concentration in community organizing from Hunter College, CUNY. Before living in Virginia, Meredith worked as a farmers market manager for Greenmarket in New York City and as an urban park advocate with New Yorkers for Parks. Meredith is excited by the possibilities offered by the local food movement to strengthen the resiliency of Virginia’s families and communities.

Meredith serves on the Programs & Conference committees. Email Meredith

CHELSEA ROSEBERRY| NORTHERN VIRGINIA REGION

Since her youth Chelsea Roseberry has been passionate about healthy eating, social justice, and protecting the environment. She found her calling in the local food movement during her studies at George Mason University, where she realized that food could be an all-around solution for so many challenges currently facing our society. After graduating in 2012, Chelsea worked with several locally owned businesses, where she gained experience in business management and marketing. In 2014 Chelsea took the post of coordinator for eleven farmers markets, and four SNAP programs run under the Fairfax County Park Authority. Chelsea is also an active member of the Fairfax Food Council’s Executive Committee, which works to help develop strategies for improving access to locally grown food for all citizens in Fairfax County. She now is acting as regional lead for VAFMA in Northern Virginia.

Email Chelsea

JUSTIN MCKENZIE | SHENANDOAH REGION

Justin McKenzie has had six years of experience at farmers markets; two as a vendor; two as a market aide; and two as Charlottesville City Market Manager. As a vendor Justin sold fresh produce, cut flowers, and mushrooms. In his time as a vendor he grew to love the market atmosphere and the positive impact it had on the local community. After studying Urban Planning and Sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University he returned to his hometown, Charlottesville, to work at the City Market. In 2016, Justin was named the City Market Manager and has helped continue Charlottesville’s long tradition of having the best farmers market in the region and state; Charlottesville has placed in the Top 3 markets in the country the past two years (2016 & 2017, according to American Farmland Trust). Justin believes strongly that markets have the unique ability to bring people together, support local business, and help people live healthy lifestyles.

Email Justin

STANLEY JONES III | TIDEWATER

Stanley Jones III (Stan) is the Director of Surry County Parks & Recreation, the Director for Surry County’s Farmers Market and the “new” guy on the block. A veteran of the US Army for 13 years and a government contractor, he has studied at various universities and is currently working towards his degree in Psychology. Stan has recently completed his first year as market director and is eagerly anticipating the upcoming season. A native of the Bronx, NY, Stan can remember fruit and vegetable stands were plentiful in the shopping districts. After moving to Virginia, Stan would develop a love for gardening and “small time” farming while helping both of his grandfathers. It is his desire to see gardening and farming rise to an all time high!

Email Stan

VACANT | SOUTHSIDE REGION

The Southside Regional Board position is currently vacant. We seek an active farmers market manager OR regional lead in the Southside area to join our board. If you are interested or know someone who might be, please contact us at info@vafma.org for more info.

LINDSEY KEEN | SOUTHWEST REGION

More info coming soon!

VAFMA Objectives

  1. Build and connect a robust and effective network of farmers markets statewide.
  2. Demonstrate collective impact of Virginia farmers markets through common data collection.
  3. Advance FM managers professionally  to increase their capacity and impact in communities.
  4. Advance value of farmers markets to communities by increasing access to food.
  5. Advocate on behalf of and build capacity for farmers markets in Virginia.

Accomplishments

  • Partnered with Farmers Market Coalition on an FMPP Grant project through 2019.
  • Launching our Market Manager Certification Program February 4, 2017.
  • Reached over 85 market managers at the 2016 farmers market conference in Williamsburg.

Frequently Asked Questions

Great question! VAFMA is a volunteer-based organization dedicated to helping strengthen and sustain all farmers markets in Virginia. Your member support helps us sustain our operations and helps cover VAFMA's basic expenses.

We are excited to announce the 2018 farmers market conference titled "Influencers, Innovators & Incubators" will be held on November 1&2 in the Richmond, Virginia area.

You can become a member of VAFMA, volunteer for one of several committees, and/or donate to VAFMA and help support our ongoing efforts.