ACEnet is excited to continue our partnership with the West Virginia Farmers Market Association!
In the fall of 2021, the West Virginia Farmers Market Association was awarded a three year USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) grant to assist farmers markets and agricultural businesses in understanding, planning, and implementing marketing and business development strategies to rebuild and strengthen these rural economies.
In depth marketing workshops have been hosted across West Virginia in Cabell (The Wild Ramp), Ohio (Grow Ohio Valley’s Public Market), Mingo, Upshur, Putnam, Nicholas, Lincoln, and Hampshire Counties.
Through this series of workshops, the WV Farmers Market Association and partners including ACEnet, the WV Department of Agriculture, American National Insurance, and WVU Extension are collaborating to address key barriers in communication and business expansion.
Workshop participants are learning valuable skills for providing products to their communities that are safe, cost effective, and visually appealing. While working closely with experienced and knowledgeable organizations, participants are encouraged to develop effective marketing strategies.
ACEnet Program Director, Leslie Schaller, and previous Multimedia Designer, Delia Palmisano, have been the main presenters at these workshop. ACEnet’s new multimedia designer, Avery Snyder, is assisting individual farmers and food entrepreneurs design logos and upgrade logos.
Of the 125+ attendees this far, a number of farmers are receiving 1-on-1 marketing assistance. All attendees are eligible to receive a free nutrition facts panel for one of their products prepared by ACEnet’s Food Enterprise Coordinator, Adam Kody.
This program will result in increased access to properly labeled, locally grown foods, and increased revenue for small businesses. Additionally, a service will be established for WV agriculture businesses that will provide ongoing technical assistance and one‐on‐one coaching for small businesses seeking to understand labeling requirements and develop a marketing plan.
There are also more marketing workshops being scheduled for this summer and early fall, stay tuned for details!
Community Update by ACEnet Program Director, Leslie Schaller, and WVDA Planning Coordinator, Kacey Gantzer