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A Word with the Winners of the 2009 America's Favorite Farmers Markets Contest

Enjoy the opportunity to learn how the winners of the 2009 America's Favorite Farmers Markets rallied their customers to be voted number one! Each of the winners of the 2009 America's Favorite Farmers Markets contest has a unique story to tell about how they got the attention of their local media and consumers and leveraged the contest to increase support for their market.

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Read about the Speakers

Betsy Cook, Collingswood Farmers MarketBetsy Cook
Farmers Market Manager
Collingswood Farmers Market

Collingswood Farmers' Market began in 2000 in the Borough of Collingswood, a New Jersey suburb of Philadelphia. It was launched by a local volunteer group and has since grown to the point that it is now a project of the Borough.

It has grown steadily over the years in size and popularity. The Market has become an established part of the social fabric of the community. People come to walk, meet their neighbors, and socialize while they shop for their weekly produce and more. Now, going to the Market is considered by many to be their "Saturday morning ritual." Direct interaction between local growers and consumers is rare these days—what happens every Saturday at the market is truly special. 

Collingswood Farmers' Market's participating farmers value the opportunity to interact with the people who eat the food they grow. Their presence in our community emphasizes the role New Jersey farming plays in preservation of our landscapes, lifestyles, nutrition, and our local food supply.  Special thanks go out to everyone involved, especially market shoppers.

Libbey Oliver, Farmers Market Manager, Williamsburg Farmers MarketLibbey Oliver
Farmers Market Manager
Williamsburg Farmers Market

In 2002, Libbey began working with the board of the Williamsburg Farmers Market to develop a Market for the historic center of Williamsburg known as Merchants Square. 

Libbey is a nationally known floral arranger, horticulturist, and author with a degree in ornamental horticulture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute.  She accepted the position of manager of floral and Christmas decorations for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, after working at Callaway Gardens in Georgia.

As market manager for the Williamsburg Farmers Market she also serves on the Historic Triangle Green Alliance, the Rural Economic Development Committee of James City County, and the Virginia Food Systems Council.

Enticing producers, vendors, and customers to this producer-only market is an important goal for Libbey.  The Williamsburg Market which is now in its eighth season has increased sales for the more than 40 vendors to over $800,000.

Shelly Keller, Marketing & Events, Davis Farmers MarketShelly Keller
Marketing & Events
Davis Farmers Market

Shelly Keller is marketing and events coordinator for the Davis Farmers Market. Previously, he was owner of Keller Marketing & Communications, specializing in public information campaigns and publications for city, county and state agencies in California. She has been a food editor, a communications specialist for a statewide association, an account executive with a Sacramento-based public relations firm, and a reporter and editor for both a daily and a weekly newspaper.

Randii MacNear
Randii MacNear, Davis Farmers Market ManagerMarket Manager
Davis Farmers Market

Randii MacNear is executive director of the Davis Farmers Market, a twice-weekly, year-round market that is one of the largest certified farmers markets is California. Randii has managed the Market for 30 years. She was awarded the “2007 Leadeership Award” and the “2002 Farmers Market Manager of the Year” award by the North American Farm Direct Marketing Association. She is co-founder and served as statewide coordinator of California Federation of Certified Farmers Markets. She has been a featured speaker at California Small Farm Conferences and at national and international symposiums. She chaired the North American Farmers Market Coalition of NAFDMA and has consulted on farmers market projects in Japan, Hawaii and across the U.S.

Jane KirchnerJane Kirchner
Senior Director Marketing and Communications
American Farmland Trust

Jane Kirchner's primary focus is to share the American Farmland Trust (AFT) story via a strategic and integrated marketing and communications program. She oversees targeted and organization-wide efforts that are focused on engaging organizations, communities and individuals across America to support AFT's work. She previously served as Director of Marketing for AFT and also developed customized agriculture-related planning projects, workshops, economic studies and other consulting services for communities to address farm, ranch and forest land protection needs. Before joining AFT in 2003, Kirchner worked on a variety of marketing and communications initiatives, provided promotional marketing services for leading food industry companies and served as managing director for a firm providing U.S. food products and food distribution expertise to markets in Far Eastern Russia.  She also served as vice chair of the Douglas County Planning Commission in Colorado and recently completed a four-year-term on the Loudoun County Planning Commission in Virginia. During her term in Loudoun County, she helped develop the Revised General Plan, the Revised 1993 Zoning Ordinance and other documents that drew national recognition for innovative growth management concepts and rural land protection.

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