Virginia Farmers Market News – April 17, 2023


In this Issue:
Promoting Your Market
More Money From Your Markets Webinar
Survey of Virginia Market Managers
Produce Safety Webinar
Meat & Poultry Vendor Permit Question
SFMNP Checks Start June 1st
RVA Earth Day Festival
Upcoming Regional Meetings
Markets Looking for Vendors
Supporting Partners

Promoting Farmers Markets in Virginia

Is your market info updated?

Our market map has become a critical component of VAFMA’s and our partners’ promotions. Whenever we get a question from a vendor, customer, funder, reporter or partner looking for a market in a particular area or on a particular day, we go to the map.

When you update your market information on Farmspread, it automatically updates multiple websites (VAFMA’s and our partners’) and our mobile app.

It is crucial that you update your market’s information at least once a year (and whenever you have a location or schedule change of course). And be sure to add the operating hours and day of the week. Otherwise, your market doesn’t show up when someone searches by day of the week. (a frequent search).

If you need help updating your market info, let us know and we will help you.

Update Your Market Info




More Money From Your Markets

May 11, 5pm – 6pm

You work hard to prepare for your markets, so let’s make sure you have the best sales possible. In this webinar, you will learn how to increase traffic to your booth, convert market guests into paying customers and keep them coming back week after week.

You will also learn how to track sales and expenses, use newsletters to communicate with customers and spotlight the best product in your business … YOU!

About Our Speaker:  

Kelly Shepherd is the co-owner of What The Farm, a regenerative farm that specializes in chicken, pork, lamb and beef in Virginia Beach, VA. With a background in business coaching, her primary focus is helping farmers and market vendors achieve profitability through agritourism, education and subscription based sales. Kelly believes that the only way to grow the sustainable farmers market movement is to make it a win/win for both vendors and consumers.

A recording will be available for registrants.

More Details



Survey of Virginia Farmers Market Managers

Make sure your market is counted

It’s time for the annual Survey of Virginia Farmers Market Managers from Virginia Fresh Match, Virginia Family Nutrition Program and the Virginia Farmers Market Association.

Thank you to all of the market managers who share their time and info with us each year!

We use the information to design trainings and technical assistance for markets, as well as to get a picture of the state of markets in Virginia.

If you are a Virginia farmers market manager, please fill out this important annual survey:! 

Take Survey



Virginia Tech Webinar: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor”: Co-existing in Your Farming Community While Navigating the Complex World of Produce Food Safety”
May 4, 2023 3:30 PM

In this CONTACT webinar, Dr. Jay-Russell will share experiences and case studies of grass roots efforts to promote farmer-to-farmer communication in the context of produce food safety.

For example, since January 2021, the agricultural community in the Salinas Valley has come together in an effort known as California Agricultural Neighbors (CAN). CAN builds on lessons learned from the earlier workshops at a grass roots, local level where appropriate management of potential foodborne pathogen risks associated with adjacent land use (e.g., cattle operations, vineyards, composters, hobby farms, etc.) can be discussed. In recent years, several E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks linked to romaine lettuce were traced to major leafy green growing regions in California.

Environmental investigations by FDA identified adjacent land uses-including nearby cattle grazing-as possible contributing factors in the spread of STEC to romaine lettuce, but the specific mechanism(s) of transport remain elusive. Livestock ranches and fresh produce farms in California are among the most highly regulated commodities in the country, but confusion often exists about what each community does to assure food safety.

“Co-management” of food safety risks and natural resources surrounding wildlife and their habitat is a well-known and successful approach in produce food safety. However, best approaches to support the continued “co-existence” of multiple diverse farming systems on adjacent agricultural lands presents unique challenges and opportunities.

Webinar Registration



Meat & Poultry Vendor Permit Question
Food Safety Q&A

Are all meat and poultry vendors selling at the farmers market required to have a meat handlers permit?

Answer from Peyton Lee, Technical Resource Adviser, Office of Meat and Poultry Services, VDACS:

Vendors need to have a Meat and Poultry Handlers Permit (MPHP) if they are moving and selling inspected product, so basically any red meat sales would need to have one. Since the poultry exempt products are not inspected, they would not need a MPHP if they are only selling exempt poultry.

View Peyton Lee’s Food Safety Summit presentation on Meat & Poultry Services requirements for farmers market vendors

Produce Farmers: Get Authorized to Start Accepting Senior Coupons/Checks June 1st

Application is open!

The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program is expanding across the state and VAFMA is part of the team making that happen.

Farmers – now is the time to apply to be authorized to accept the vouchers from older adults for fresh fruits, vegetables, and fresh cut herbs.

Market Managers – spread the word about this program to your market’s produce farmers.

Details, links and an overview webinar are on our website

Senior FMNP Info



RVA Earth Day Festival

Saturday, April 22, 2023, 9am – 4pm

Thanks to VAFMA Member GrowRVA, VAFMA will be promoting the Virginia Farmers Market Trail at the RVA Earth Day Festival on April 22nd in Bryan Park. If you are in the area that day, stop by to see us!
More info

Upcoming Regional Meetings

Meetings are open to market managers, vendors, and other market stakeholders. VAFMA Members & Non-Members.
See map above for regions

Blue Ridge Region
The group meets quarterly. If you’re not already receiving updates from Debbie Edwards, VAFMA’s Blue Ridge Region Director, contact us and we’ll get you on her list.

Capital Region
The group has scheduled future Zoom meet ups for April 24, July 24, and October 23. All at 10am. If you’re not already receiving updates from Stephanie Ganz, VAFMA’s Capital Region Director, contact us and we’ll get you on her list.

Central Region
Erin Mann, our Central Region Director, has scheduled an in-person meeting for April 19 at 1pm at 4257 Aiken Drive Suite H, Warrenton, VA. RSVP to

Coastal Region
The group had a productive in-person meeting last month. If you’re not already receiving updates from Amy Jordan, VAFMA’s Coastal Region Director, contact us and we’ll get you on her list.

NoVA Region
If you’re not already receiving updates from Deb Matthews, VAFMA’s Northern VA Region Director, contact us and we’ll get you on her list.

Shenandoah Region 
Megan Marshall of Project GROWS, our Shenandoah Regional Director, is coordinating a virtual meetup of market managers and vendors in the area. If you’re not already receiving updates from her, contact us and we’ll get you on her list.

Southside Region 
The group met this month. VAFMA’s Southside Regional Director, Carolyn Cooper Wright will be scheduling the next one. If you’re not already receiving updates from Carolyn, let us know and we will get you on her list.

Southwest Region
Lindsey Felty, VAFMA’s Southwest Regional Director, coordinates periodic meetings. If you’re not already receiving updates from her, contact us and we’ll get you on her list.

More Resources

Virginia Farmers Markets Listserv

Email Group for Virginia Farmers Markets – connect with other vendors and market managers through this email group. Open to all farmers market stakeholders.

Farmers Markets Looking for Vendors
Farmers and other market vendors! We have a list of farmers markets listed by region that have openings for new vendors in 2023.

Market Management Jobs
Positions open in Hopewell, Richmond & Augusta County
Job Opportunities

Supporting Partners

Funding for this project was made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through grant 21FMPPVA1084. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.
Copyright © 2023 Virginia Farmers Market Association, All rights reserved.