The Kimberley Farmers’ Market has been growing each year. Kimberley Farmers Market FaceBook.

Kimberley hosts Farmers’ Market conference this weekend

Farmers’ market vendors and organizers from across the province will gather in Kimberley to connect, learn and advance the local food sector with workshops, networking events and training

Beginning this Friday, March 8, the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets hosts its annual conference in Kimberley. The conference, titled Cultivating Community, runs from March 8 to 10, 2019 at the Kimberley Conference Centre with farmers’ market organizers, growers, small-scale food businesses, artisans and community leaders from across the province taking part in workshops and networking events to advance the local food sector.

READ MORE: Farmers Market conference coming to Kimberley

READ MORE: Launch of Kootenay Rockies & Columbia Basin Farmers’ Market Trail will strengthen relationship between farmers, markets, and market-goers

Taking the conference on the road for the first time in 20 years is partially due to support from the Columbia Basin Trust.

“We are thrilled to have our conference in Kimberley and be able to connect directly with the region’s farmers’ markets, vendors and community. This area is known as a hub for fresh local food and farming, and is home to over 20 of our BCAFM member farmers’ markets,” says Wylie Bystedt, BCAFM president. “The conference is a unique opportunity for farmers and market organizers from across the region and province to gather and address critical issues, such as regional marketing strategies and other sector needs, that individual vendors and markets can’t tackle alone.”

“Bringing this conference to the Columbia Basin for the first time is great for this region’s farmers’ markets as so many more will be able to attend and take away tools to continue strengthening their efforts,” said Johnny Strilaeff, Columbia Basin Trust President and Chief Executive Officer. “Fostering this opportunity for producers, processors and farmers is one of the ways we’re supporting agriculture businesses to flourish and grow, which enables residents to have access to healthy, local food.”

The conference includes over 15 workshop sessions that cover a range of topics from regional farmland matching initiatives, developing farmers’ markets in rural areas and assessing the profitability of farmers’ market businesses to starting farm marketing co-ops, social media storytelling, regional marketing strategies, and how farmers’ markets and food hubs can work together.

Speakers include Greg McLaren of Farm Food Drink, Josie Cale of the Ktunaxa Kinbasket Child and Family Services, Paige Dampier of Close to Home Organics, Hailey Troock of the Young Agrarians, Livia Lara of Cranbrook Farmer’s Market, Stuart Anderson of Community Futures North Okanagan and Belinda Ewald-Middleton of Destination BC. The conference and festivities are organized by the BCAFM in partnership with the Kimberley and Cranbrook Farmer’s Markets.

Highlights of the weekend include the sixth annual Farmers’ Market Awards Gala, which will feature a locally sourced dinner and recognize individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to BC’s farmers’ market sector and local food system. The top farmers’ markets, market manager, vendor, volunteer and community partner of 2018 will be honoured at the Awards Gala, Saturday, March 9 at the Kimberley Conference Centre.

Everyone is welcome to attend the conference or register for a single workshop or networking event. Tickets and information are available on the BCAFM website.

The BCAFM is a registered society that represents over 145 farmers’ markets across BC. Its mission is to develop, promote and strengthen the capacity of farmers’ markets in all regions of the province. Visit www.bcfarmersmarket.org to learn more or find a farmers’ market near you.

Just Posted

College of the Rockies to add 96 beds for student housing

$17.7 million project of six cottage-style buildings to be completed by 2020

Sullivan Mine & Railway Historical Society seeks support for grant application

The society hopes to complete extensive renovations on the exterior of the historical powerhouse.

City of Cranbrook concludes urban deer removal efforts, culls three deer

Challenges included trap vandalism, shortened window under wildlife permit terms

Highways maintenance contractor seeking public feedback

Mainroad East Kootenay Contracting to share results of survey ahead of pre-winter public forums

Paul Blais provides daily, free breakfast to Cranbrook’s homeless

After winding up on the streets in 2018, Blais wanted to do everything he could to help others

Dynamiters keep their winning streak going

Nitros beat out the Nitehawks 4-3 in game two of the Conference finals.

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Baby left alone in vehicle in B.C. Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

College of the Rockies to add 96 beds for student housing in Cranbrook

$17.7 million project featuring six cottege-style buildings to be completed by 2020

Nowhere to grieve: How homeless people deal with loss during the opioid crisis

Abbotsford homeless advocate says grief has distinct challenges for those living on the streets

Most Read