Maine Farmers’ Market Convention 2020

Join us in strengthening the farmers’ market community in Maine at the 2020 Maine Farmers’ Market Convention.

Augusta Civic Center, 76 Community Drive
Thursday, January 16, 2020
8:30am – 4:00pm

The 2020 Maine Farmers’ Market Convention brings together market farmers, organizers, and community members across the state to gather for a day of education, resource-sharing, and networking. The convention offers resources and information from service providers, legal experts, and seasoned farmers focusing on the most important topics to our farmers’ market community.

2020 Convention Keynote

12:00-2:00pm – Washington/York Room

Risk Management for Farmers Market Leaders –

A Presentation of the Farmers Market Legal Toolkit

Darlene Wolnik is a national advocate and trainer for farmers markets and has worked in the field for over fifteen years. As Training and Technical Assistance Director at the Farmers Market Coalition, Dar played an integral role in the development of the Farmers Market Legal Toolkit. Dar will showcase and discuss the Farmers Market Legal Toolkit in an engaging presentation and discussion.

Darlene will welcome and incorporate your questions as she digs into the 3 core topics of the Toolkit:

  • Governance
  • SNAP
  • General Risk Management

This is a dynamic and interactive 2 hour session. Please bring your market’s risk management materials with you to the session. All attendees will receive a workbook to follow along during the presentation to take home as a resource for your market.

The 2020 keynote presentation is sponsored by the
Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.


Early bird tickets end on January 2, 2020!

Click this image to purchase your tickets.


Our workshops cover topics for beginning and well seasoned farmers, community organizers, public health professionals, and community health activists.

These workshops would not be possible without the generous support of American National Insurance.

Topics include:

  • Creative Marketing Strategies Learn tips and strategies from experienced market vendors and organizers on how to raise the profile of your market and boost the sale of your products.
  • After-market gleaning – Learn how markets are partnering with community groups to donate extra produce to people in need.
  • Working together as a cooperative team – By working together, we can lighten the load, share decision making, increase our sales and have fun! Through this interactive workshop, you can work with your market team or individually to look at ways that you can develop effective cooperative structures that are participatory and efficient. We will look at ways you can cooperate within your market and cooperate together with markets in your area or county. You will walk away with a plan that you can bring back to your market to increase cooperation and clarity around your organizational structure.
  • Food safety best practices farmers’ markets & CBD/Hemp discussion – Is your market following best practices for food safety? Sit in on a seminar with experts from Maine’s Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, and bring your questions.
  • Keeping the Peace at Market – De-escalation strategies for challenging customers/people – People experiencing mental illness. Disgruntled customers. Potential thieves. How do we handle stressful, and potentially threatening situations at market? If we want our markets to be open and welcoming to all, then vendors must know how to manage people of all types. This session will focus on de-escalation strategies, anti-bias training, and best practices to manage stressful situations involving people at market.
  • Partnerships for your market – Behind every farmers’ market is a community partnership – whether it’s for volunteers, financial sponsorship, access to property, fiscal sponsorship, entertainment or promotions. Partnerships can leverage a lot of good for your market and the surrounding community. This session will showcase some successful partnerships from a few markets in Maine. See how markets and local partners work together to further each others’ mission and support thriving farmers’ markets. Staff from MaineGeneral will also give advice on best practices for approaching institutional partners.
  • Low-income food access models – There are a variety of ways to make your market more welcoming to people with limited financial resources. What’s the best fit for you and your market?
  • Conflict resolution and communication skills for markets – There’s a lot at stake when market members are in conflict. Fortunately, there are resources that help farmers find meaningful resolutions. Learn from skilled mediators of the Maine Agricultural Mediation Program.
  • Maine Harvest Bucks Overview – This session provides an overview of how to implement Maine Harvest Bucks at a farmers’ market. MFFM will provide examples of how markets across the state are operating the program to attract new customers, increase their sales, and help feed people experiencing food insecurity in Maine.  
  • Point of Sale (POS) Options and Opportunities in the Digital Age – In this session, we’ll hear from a few farmers on how they use their POS apps to conduct transactions, track sales, engage their customers, and plan for growth. Cybersecurity concerns and risk management best practices will be shared. 
  • Farmers Market Metrics – Data collection tools for markets of all sizes – The Farmers Market Coalition (FMC) worked with market and research partners to develop a complete evaluation & data communication system for farmers markets, known as Farmers Market Metrics (FMMetrics). FMMetrics is driven by the need for efficient farmers market management tools, that can also serve to streamline grant reporting. The scalable and customizable system is intended to maximize the utility of, and build upon data already collected by market management, while facilitating the communication of market impacts to customers, vendors, funders and other stakeholders. Join Dar Wolnik of the FMC to learn more about this tool and how it could work for your market.