The Alaska Farmers’ Market Association is in the process of forming, and is soliciting membership from among the various markets springing up across the state. Their latest meeting (a teleconference) was held January 6, 2009. Here is a recap of information about the group:
The AFMA seeks to support and promote vibrant and sustainable farmers’ markets throughout Alaska, by creating a recognizable statewide organization to increase market awareness; helping market managers communicate and network with each other; educating farmers about best farming practices, sustainability, and quality assurance; working to regulate farmers’ markets internally rather than externally (by the legislature or some other outside entity); holding an annual forum; and educating the public about Alaska farmers’ market products.
Amy Petit of DNR is the state contact for the organization, which is filing its 501(c)(6) paperwork; she is gathering information about the various markets and coordinating the teleconferences held so far. The group hopes to enow its program so that it can become independent from the state or the farms, and the sustainability of the AFMA is of importance to its membership (especially given the financial straits that most granting agencies find themselves in now). It is pondering how best to be sustainable, membership dues, who and how work for the organization should be done, and such details as travel budgets, a grant from the Farmers’ Market Promotion Program, and other items.
Voting members consist of one appointed ‘market representative’ from each farmers’ market in Alaska. The AFMA is working on a website, and hopes to get twelve board members (60% of whom must be farmers’ market reps). Bylaws are also in process.
For more information, please contact Ms. Petit.