[Market-farming] Grower's Association?

Leslie Moyer unschooler at lrec.org
Wed Mar 9 01:08:01 EST 2011

Some growers in my area (including me) are interested in forming a grower's association and have scheduled a meeting to discuss this with other area growers.  In some areas, a farmers market might fulfill some of the roles we envision for such a grower's association, but not all of the roles.  In our area, the farmers market is ineffectual at best; counter-productive in some cases, and, at the moment, it doesn't look that that is going to change for a while.  We see this as encompassing more than any single farmers market anyway--at least in our rural area.

Some of the possibilities we have talked about for this grower's association include: a buyer's coop, a communication network (email list and/or website), educational workshops, farm tours, cooperative selling (including institutional sales), integrated growing strategies, increasing the number and variety of sales outlets (including extending the season of existing outlets), operation of retail outlet(s), sharing capital resources (such as land, equipment, processing facilities, etc.), buyer education, and more.  I know there are organizations out there in other places doing some of these things.  Can anyone point me toward other models we might look to as we go about structuring this group and figuring out its mission, purpose, and goals?  


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