12pm – 1:30pm

Farmers Selling Online – Choosing a Platform

Brought to you by the Virginia Farmers Market Association and Virginia State University

In partnership with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Farm Credit, Farm Credit Knowledge Center, Virginia Farm Bureau and Virginia FAIRS.

June 2, 2020
Noon – 1:30 pm

Free Registration

This 90-minute webinar is for farmers who want to add an online store or online pre-ordering system to their operations. It will provide practical details about 4 different platforms — Google Forms, Square, Lulus Local Food and Local Line via Virginia Market Maker. It will also cover what to consider before choosing a platform.


Kim Hutchinson, Virginia Farmers Market Association

Michael Carter Jr., VSU Small Farm Outreach Program

Theresa Nartea, Virginia State University

Mary Delicate, Virginia Farmers Market Association

Molly Harris, Lulus Local Food

French Price, Virginia Cooperative Extension

Free Registration


Farmers Market Success During COVID-19: Market-Managed Online Sales

Recorded April 28, 2020


Due to COVID-19, demand for healthy local food is increasing. Of course, the difficulty of getting that food to customers has increased too. More and more customers are asking for markets to manage the online ordering process. The market managers in this training have decided to do that.

In this two hour training recording, you will hear about four markets – each one uses a different ordering platform and a different distribution system. One market has been online since 2013. The others are new since the coronavirus changed the farmers market landscape.

They share their successes and lessons learned along with their communication strategies, market rules, online platform decisions, payment methods and much more. VAFMA staff also share recommendations and resources.

Purchase Access Here ($15)

You will receive links to the recording as well as the presentations and resources in your receipt.

Purchase Access to Recording


Farmers Market Success During COVID-19: Vendor Managed Pre-orders



At a time when demand for healthy local food is skyrocketing, farmers markets face incredible hurdles. In this 3 hour online training, 5 market managers share how they are navigating this obstacle course using vendor-managed pre-orders.

They detail their successes and lessons learned along with their communication strategies, signage, market rules, physical structure, social distancing practices, use of volunteers, payment methods and more.

At each of these markets, vendors take their own pre-orders and online sales. However, the markets use different set-ups and processes to adapt to their available space and location restrictions.

There are drive thru markets, curbside pickups and walk through shopping. The markets are government, private and non-profit run; urban, rural and suburban.

VAFMA staff summarize the recommendations and resources shared. They also open up the discussion for Q&A.

Purchase Recording Access


Getting Your Market Open & Keeping it Open During COVID-19

April 16, 2020 12pm – 1:30 pm


View Recording

This VAFMA webinar will provide an update of the latest state operation requirements for Virginia’s farmers markets. We’ll answer your questions and provide examples to help you adjust the setup of your market.

Meredith Ledlie Johnson of Virginia Cooperative Extension will be with us to discuss using SNAP at markets during COVID-19. She’ll share how market managers are adjusting SNAP benefit sales to meet the current market guidelines.

Kim Hutchinson, Executive Director of VAFMA will explain how to work with your local officials to get your market open. Howard Herman of Falls Church Farmers Market will share his experience navigating the challenges he faced getting his market open.

Riko Metzroth of Farmers Insurance Financial Services will be with us to discuss general liability during COVID-19. He’ll also talk about two Small Business Administration Loans of interest to markets and their vendors.

View Recording


Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) Food Safety Program Overview and Food Handler Best Practices at the Farmers Market


This presentation will provide an overview of producing food products to sell at the farmers market. It will cover when a food inspection is required, how to obtain an inspection, and the exemptions from inspection that are in the Virginia Food Laws. Additionally, it will also touch on the applicable laws and regulations, industrial hemp, and food labeling.

The presentation will also cover how to prevent selling contaminated foods at the market by 1) Fostering good health and hygiene practices, 2) Cleaning and prevention of cross contamination, 3) Holding hot/cold foods at proper temperatures, 4) Ensuring foods are cooked to the correct temperature, and 5) Ensuring foods sold originate from safe sources. Additionally, it covers some of Virginia Cooperative Extensions’s resources available for markets.

Free Registration


Meagan Musick
Food Technical Specialist
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Meagan has worked for the Virginia Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Program since 2010. She conducts inspections of retail food establishments and food manufacturers, covering 7 counties and localities (Radford, Pulaski County, Wythe County, Bland County, Galax, Carroll County, and Grayson County). Additionally, she also works closely with home food and commercial kitchen processors during their application process. Meagan lives in Pulaski, VA. She received her B.S. degree in Food Science and Technology from Virginia Tech.

Dr. Renee R. Boyer
Professor/Extension Specialist
Department of Food Science and Technology

Dr. Renee Boyer is a Professor and Extension Specialist in the Food Science and Technology department at Virginia Tech. Her research program focuses on enhancing the quality and safety of fresh produce through pre and post-harvest interventions, as well as researching, developing and evaluating educational training programs and messages aimed at consumers and other retail food handlers. Dr. Boyer‘s Extension program focuses on food handler food safety education, as well as food preservation. She received her M.S. and Ph. D. degrees in Food Science and Technology from Virginia Tech.



Simple IRAs for Small Businesses Webinar

Risks faced by vendors and managers


Free Registration Link

Riko Metzroth is a Richmond-based insurance agent and financial advisor who insures many different types of businesses through 9 states on the East Coast. As a benefit to the members of VAFMAA, Riko will review the risks faced by each participating vendor and operator of Farmers Markets.

As a Financial Advisor, Riko assists his small business owner clients to also save for their retirements and that of their employees via SIMPLE IRAs. These are similar to 401(k) plans, but designed for small businesses. It is vital for anyone saving for their retirement, to also manage the income tax impacts of various plans, as well as the fees associated with them. Simple IRAs are an excellent option for small business owners.

Riko will review the attributes of SIMPLE IRAs, and contract them with traditional IRAa and 401(k) plans.

Mr. Metzroth is a multi-year financial contributor to VAFMA, and truly cares about its members.



The Produce Safety Rule, Exemptions and Market Requirements


Free Registration Link

About the Speaker:
Erik Bungo is the Program Supervisor for the newly established Produce Safety Program at the Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (VDACS) in Richmond, VA.

He previously held several positions in the Food Safety Program to include: Northern Virginia Regional Manager, Virginia Rapid Response Team Coordinator, Food Safety Field Supervisor, and Sr. Food Safety Specialist for VDACS.

After receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree from Juniata College in 2001, he began his career in food safety/food science holding multiple positions with various companies. In 2004, he joined VDACS as a Food Safety Specialist in the Arlington/Alexandria territory.

Erik is an active member of the Central Atlantic States Association of Food and Drug Officials (CASA) and has served on the executive board of CASA since 2008. He is also the CASA affiliate representative on the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) Executive Board and Chair of the AFDO Produce Safety committee.


Previous Webinar Recordings


Farmers Market Liability Webinar

Riko Metzroth is a Richmond-based insurance agent and financial advisor who insures many different types of businesses through 9 states on the East Coast. On February 25 at 11:00 am (EST), Riko will review the risks faced by farmers market vendors and operators.

He will review examples of past claims, and how to insure against such claims. He will also cover the importance of operators insisting upon valid and active insurance certificates from each vendor.

Mr. Metzroth is a multi-year financial contributor to VAFMA, and truly cares about its members.

View the Webinar



Getting to Greener Webinar

Jennifer Cole and Zach Huntington of Clean Fairfax share products and programs that markets and farmers can use instead of single use plastics. They also discuss how markets can promote their sustainability to reach new customers.

View the presentation and additional resources.



Marketing 101:
Clarify Your Identity to Connect With Customers

In this webinar, participants will be guided through simple exercises to find clarity in their identity and branding and connect with their ideal customers. We’ll also cover common mistakes small businesses make in their identity and branding, and tips and tricks for marketing on a budget (including new resources not discussed at the VAFMA conference!)



Virginia Industrial Hemp:
Current and Future Regulatory Structure

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the commercial production and sale of industrial hemp. Virginia passed their Industrial Hemp Act in 2019 and the regulatory structure continues to change and evolve. As interest in hemp and hemp products grow, hear how both VDACS and the industry are responding now and moving forward.

About the Presenters

Erin Williams, Senior Policy Analyst, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS)

Erin Williams has been with the VDACS for over 12 years. She has served in a variety of roles, including Dispute Resolution Specialist and Policy and Planning Coordinator for the agency’s Division of Consumer Protection. She is currently a Senior Policy Analyst in the agency’s Office of Policy, Planning, and Research and serves as the agency’s Regulatory Coordinator.

Ms. Williams has coordinated VDACS’s work to administer the Virginia Industrial Hemp Law since its enactment in 2015. Additionally, she oversees the agency’s Industrial Hemp Grower, Dealer, and Processor Registration programs. Ms. Williams earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and a law degree from Quinnipiac University School of Law in Hamden, Connecticut.

Kyle Shreve, Executive Director, Virginia Agribusiness Council

Kyle Shreve currently serves as the Executive Director for the Virginia Agribusiness Council, where he represents the Council’s diverse membership of businesses in both the agriculture and forestry industries. He holds a decade of trade association experience including representing the International Dairy Foods Association, Virginia Retail Merchants Association and the Virginia Association of Health Plans.

Kyle is originally from Pennsylvania and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History from The Pennsylvania State University. He moved to Northern Virginia in 2008 to begin his six-year tenure at the International Dairy Foods Association, focusing on legislative affairs at the federal level. Soon after receiving his Master of Professional Studies in Political Management from the George Washington University, Kyle moved to Richmond to work with the Virginia Retail Merchants Association as the Director of Government Affairs. He served in the role of Director of Policy at the Virginia Association of Health Plans prior to transitioning to the Virginia Agribusiness Council in May of 2018. Kyle lives in Midlothian with his wife Christie and their sons, Bennett and Connor.

Erin Williams’ Slides
Kyle Shreve’s Slides
Vendor Webinars