The Illinois Farmers Market Association (ILFMA) along with The Land Connection, are pleased to announce that Joan Jach from Champaign, IL, recently completed the 2022 Illinois Certified Farmers Market Manager Program. Sponsored by the Illinois Farm Bureau and the University of Illinois Extension, the nine-week class launched in early January.
A total of 26 managers from all across Illinois and Iowa were certified, making Ms. Jach one of only 57 individuals who have been certified as an official “C.F.M.M.,” Illinois Certified Farmers Market Manager. This program required 30 hours of classroom training focused on basic and advanced leadership skills and professional development topics essential to successful farmers market management.
The Illinois Certified Farmers Market ManagerProgram acknowledges that the Champaign Farmers Market and CU Winter Farmers Market market manager is a trained professional. Farmers markets continue to provide communities with access to the freshest and healthiest agricultural products available. The market manager is often the unsung hero of their community, wearing many hats, working long hours, and coordinating many programs at once.
“Farmers markets are essential to the life and livelihood of farmers, producers, and communities throughout Illinois,” says Janie Maxwell, ILFMA Executive Director. “Farmers markets don’t just happen, and it takes the planning, organization, community organizations, and dedicated individuals for them to be successful. Farmers markets may be the safest place to shop for fresh local food with few hands touching products from the field to your plate.”
Ms. Jach had the opportunity to network with fellow farmers market managers, share ideas, suggest creative solutions, and learn from each other. This networking proved to be a valuable component and a highlight of the overall experience. “This was a great program to learn more about developing and maintaining a sustainable farmers market, collaborating with community members and collecting meaningful data for our sponsors” mentioned Ms. Jach.The Illinois Farmers Market Association will be offering the 2022 Illinois Certified Market Manager Program again next year. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.