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Regional Farmers Market Fair March 26

One-stop Event for Farmers, Local Food Producers, Artisans

The newly formed STW Regional Farmers Market Network will sponsor a Farmers Market Fair on Thursday, March 26, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Salamanca.

The Farmers Market Fair is designed as a one-stop event for farmers, local food producers, or artisans who might be interested in learning about selling their products at a local farmers market and to learn about the many different and unique farmers markets that operate in the Southern Tier West region.

The event will feature tabletop information displays for 20 farmers markets that operate in Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua Counties. The market tables will be manned by representatives from each market, who will be able to talk about the market’s operating days/times, seasonal operations, vending rules, setup fees, market governance, diversity of current vendors, and community demographics and customer base.

The Farmers Market Fair will be a great opportunity for networking and a chance for new farmers market vendors to meet mentors who can help in making the most out of the farmers market tradition.

Interested vendors from the greater Western New York area are encouraged to attend to learn about the region’s farmers market opportunities. Light refreshments will be served; RSVPs are greatly appreciated so that accommodations can be planned accordingly.

The Farmers Market Fair will take place at Southern Tier West’s Center for Regional Excellence, 4039 Route 219, Salamanca, in the BOCES conference room in Suite 100.

Attendees can also learn about the STW Regional Farmers Market Network, an organization comprised of representatives from the region’s farmers markets. The network was formed through a year-long facilitation from Southern Tier West Regional Planning and Development Board and the Farmers Market Federation of NY to create a collaborative network among the region’s farmers markets.

States Kimberly LaMendola, Southern Tier West’s manager of local food system projects: “The three-county region and the Seneca Nation of Indians have many terrific and unique farmers markets that serve communities of all sorts of sizes and customer bases. The STW Regional Farmers Market Network was formed to provide a resource entity for the managers, vendors, and volunteers of the region’s more than 20 farmers market and as a way for markets throughout the region to collaborate on activities such as trainings, market promotions, education, agriculture and nutrition advocacy, customer appreciation events, entertainment, and new vendor recruitment and outreach, and processing of electronic benefits and more. The Network is an efficient way for markets that are spread throughout 3,800 square miles of the three-county region and tribal territories to work together on programs and services that will help each market be as strong and uniquely popular in its community as possible so that both customers and vendors benefit from the tradition of farmers markets.”

Southern Tier West has sponsored the startup of the STW Regional Farmers Market Network and will continue to incubate the group for the near term as it continues to develop its structure and implement activities. Southern Tier West has also partnered with the Farmers Market Federation of NY for assistance in the development of the Network so that the benefit of the Federation’s state-wide resources can assist in this pilot project and development of a model network that can be replicated in other regions.

For more information about the Farmers Market Fair or the STW Regional Farmers Market Network, contact Kimberly LaMendola at (716) 945-5301 ext. 2211 or klamendola@SouthernTierWest.org.

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