The goal of the West Virginia Farmers Market Association (WVFMA)is to strengthen viability of farmers markets across the state of West Virginia. The organization fosters cooperation among members in solving problems related to the production and marketing of farm products and improvement in marketing activities. WVFMA's motto is, "We are farmers markets, on-farm markets, market managers, farmers, and consumers."
General About the Organization/Mission
The mission of the WVFMA is to provide resources and support connections that enhance the economic growth and sustainability of West Virginia farmers markets. They aim to strengthen viability of farmers markets across the state through our activities, such as meetings, surveys, trainings, development of resources and policy work. The Association is a membership-based organization supported in part by both membership fees and grant dollars.
The WV Farmers Market Association currently has 57 member markets throughout the state. Member markets receive a monthly newsletter, get discounts for training opportunities and conferences sponsored by the WVFMA, access to grant opportunities, have access to staff and board members for advice and information, have voting privileges in electing WVFMA board members and a voice in farmers market policy in West Virginia.
|Type of Organization||Non-profit, Local Food|
Jeremy Grant, Executive Director
Phone: (304) 939-3901
Issues of Focus
- Farmers Markets
- Business Development
History of Organization
In 2007, a group of farmers, with guidance from the WVU Extension Service and the Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences, with a West Virginia Department of Agriculture grant, took steps to create a statewide farmers market association–the West Virginia Farmers Market Association. The organization was formed with the assistance of the West Virginia Community Development Hub and the West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition.
Programs and Projects
In collaboration with the Dyer Insurance Group out of Clarksburg, WV, farmers market vendors can now obtain insurance for protection against claims of bodily injury liability, property damage liability, personal and advertising injury liability and the litigation costs to defend against such claims. Policies are available for individual vendors and entire farmers markets.
Farmers Market Policy Committee
WVFMA engages in state public policy on behalf of farmers market vendors through the Farmers Market Policy Committee. In 2014 and 2015 the Association worked with state lawmakers to craft and pass legislation easing requirements on farmers market vendors related to health department permits.
Helping Vendors Understand Rules and Regulations
The WVFMA is not a regulatory entity, but are a membership-based organization that was created by WV farmers markets and exists to assist and strengthen markets. In this capacity, they seek to work with regulatory entities, such as the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services and the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, to clarify the information that farmers markets and their vendors need in order to be in compliance with existing rules and regulations.
Document - Farmers Market Vendor Guide (PDF)
WVFMA has repeatedly organized the farmers market education track at the annual West Virginia Small Farm Conference. WVFMA has been the point of contact to bring in speakers and trainers from numerous out-of-state organizations including the national Farmers Market Coalition, the national Buy Fresh Buy Local program, Ohio State University, and Campbell Risk Management. The organization regularly collaborates with other service organizations to provide training on marketing, growing, and other farmers market related topics.
Partners and Frequent Collaborators
- West Virginia Department of Agriculture
- West Virginia University, Davis School Agricultural and Resource Economics
- West Virginia University, Small Farm Center
- West Virginia State University Extension Service
- Collaborative for the 21st Century Appalachia
- The West Virginia Community Development Hub
- WVU Extension
- West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition