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Farmers Market Association conference comes to Bristol

staff report • Feb 8, 2013 at 8:20 AM

The Appalachian Farmers Market Association (AFMA) will hold its fifth annual conference and winter market on Saturday, March 9, at the Slater Center, 325 McDowell St., in Bristol, Tenn.

A full day of presentations and workshops related to local food production and marketing will be presented. Farmers Market vendors, consumers, market managers, small farmers, gardeners, crafters and anyone interested in local foods will benefit from attending the conference.

The conference also will address many issues facing today’s farmer on the business side of farming, such as season extension, double cropping, market promotions, food processing rules for Tennessee and Virginia, utilizing social media, EBT and social programs at the markets, and other interesting subjects.

Keynote speaker will be Matthew Miller, a native of Wythe County, Va., and an eighth-generation farmer on the same Miller Homestead. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor of science degree and a master of science degree in animal science. He also serves as the Extension Agent for the Virginia Cooperative Extension office.

Tamara McNaughton will address the subject of how and where to begin to organize a farmers market. Mimi Hernandez will present a lecture on traditional Appalachian foods and medicines, along with almost a dozen other presenters.

A winter market will showcase several of the association’s farmers and their products.

Registration is open until Feb. 28, with a $10 registration fee.

Conference hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with lunch being served at noon. Registration forms along with the $10 fee may be mailed to Tom Peterson, Appalachian Sustainable Development, and PO Box 791, Abingdon, Va. 24212-0791.

AFMA operates to support and sustain a viable network of community Farmers Markets throughout the Appalachian region of east Tennessee and western Virginia. It is a volunteer organization comprised of representatives from each of the participating markets including Bristol’s State Street Farmers Market.

For more information on the conference call Terry Napier at (423) 764-4023 or e-mail tnapier@bristoltn.org.

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