indexGreetings! The Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) will be organizing two farmers market sessions at the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo in Grand Rapids, MI on Thursday, December 11, 2014. Please see the details of the two sessions below.  If you plan on attending the EXPO, be sure to stop by the MIFMA booth at the tradeshow!

Thursday, December 11, 2014, 9:00 – 11:00 AM
Collaborating with Other Farmers and Businesses to Extend Your Marketing Reach
Speaker: Kristin Krokowski, Commercial Horticulture Educator, University of Wisconsin (UW) Cooperative Extension,Waukesha County
Farmer Panel:
Erin Caudell, Flint Ingredient Company and The Local Grocer and Andy Stutzman, Kuntry Gardens
Description:  This session featuring a panel of Michigan farmers and small food businesses will explore the following questions: How can farmers and local businesses cross-promote and share in each other’s already existing customer base? How is transparency and integrity maintained when others sell, market, or otherwise represent your product? How can farmers and value-added producers work together? How can you structure partnerships (formally or informally) for mutual benefit?
1:00 – 3:00 PM:  Who is Your Customer and How can You Better Interact with Them?
Speaker: Kristin Krowkowski, Commercial Horticulture Educator, UW
Farmer Panel:
Vincent Sanna, Give and Grow Mushrooms and Hether Frayer, Fresh Food Fairy
Description:  This session will help you understand your customers and connect with that customer base.  How can you better interact with them both at market and away from market?  How can you use market surveys to create a better picture of your customer base? How can you collaborate with market management to help you identify customer wants and desires? Methods of data gathering will be explored as well as ways to communicate effectively with your potential customer.
A special registration fee is available for admission to the trade show and education sessions on Thursday. If you are not already pre-registered for EXPO, the fee is $45 if you register on-site. These fees are good for Thursday ONLY. The trade show will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday. Learn more at