[Market-farming] Good Market Manager

Guy Clark guyclark at socket.net
Sun Feb 13 11:33:53 EST 2005


Karen-

What makes a good market manager? Let me see if I can come up with some
characteristics.

Our market manager, Alouette, came from a pool of 5 applicants last
spring. She said in her interview that she was the type of person who
does not postpone things. She likes to keep a clean desk; if something
needs to be done, she'd rather do it now rather than later. I was
skeptical, but pleasantly surprised.

I knew her vaguely from being in the same small town (80,000) for
several years and she seemed pleasant enough.

Characteristics that seem crucial:


   * The ability to be organized, but handle large amounts of chaos
   * The ability to listen and interpret instructions
   * The ability to ask questions when you need to for clarity
   * The ability to work independently
   * The wisdom to choose between the above two on a busy Saturday
     market
   * Passion for food, farming and farmers
   * Good connections in the community (this allowed her to have music
     every Saturday)
   * Pleasant to deal with, but firm when neccessary
   * Punctual (something I am not)
   * Capable of handling part-time work without having to have too many
     other jobs to divert her away from doing the work for you
   * Good on-site and off-site (We have had managers who were fine at
     the market, but did not follow through on phone calls and other
     off-site work)
   * Completes tasks immediately and doesn't procrastinate
   * Creative but consultive
   * Respectful but probing

Truthfully it takes a good board of directors (or at least one good
person on the board) to give direction and answer questions combined
with the market manager to make the organization hum along in summer.
For the most part, we don't want to be bothered at market because we are
there to sell, but sometimes there are questions and there needs to be
ONE person the manager asks, or the board needs to be sympatico and give
consistent answers. I am that person at our market.

If you look at most of the above characteristics, they are what makes
good farmers or good employees or good just about anything. You want an
actualized, curious adult.

Guy Clark
Columbia Farmers' Market
Columbia, MO
laughably Zone 5B (but Zone 7 the last 14 years) due for a zonal pruning
any day now
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