acorn-2015-3On November 28th, we will host the 2016 Atlantic Canadian Farmers’ Market Conference in Moncton, New Brunswick. This one-day bilingual conference is the only of its kind in all of eastern Canada, bringing together vendors, market managers, organizers and partners from NS, NB, PEI and NFLD for a fantastic day of learning and networking.

We are once again hosting this one-day conference in partnership with the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network (ACORN) and their annual three-day conference which takes place November 28th-30th.

Specifically, the Atlantic Canadian Farmers’ Market Conference takes place on the first day of the ACORN Conference. Farmers’ market vendors, volunteers and staff can register for the one-day farmers’ market conference at a cost of $40 (FMNS member markets and their vendors) or $50 (non-members) while ACORN conference attendees, registered for the three-day conference, can move between the farmers’ market conference and the larger ACORN conference at the ACORN registration rate.

Registration is now open for the Atlantic Canadian Farmers’ Market Conference and space is limited.

View this information in both English and French here.


(#1.) Farmers’ Market Fundamentals

This hour-long session will cover the basics – from formulas for market growth and product mix to research on why markets fail and how your market can thrive. Michelle Wolf, armed with more than 20 years of farmers’ market experience and expertise, will open the session. Keltie Butler, Executive Director of Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia, will follow alongside two Market Managers. With all that, we’ll still leave plenty of time for Q&A.

(#2.) Drawing Customers In: Marketing & Promotions for the Farmers’ Market Sector

In this one-hour workshop, we’ll take a practical look at what brings people to farmers’ markets generally, what draws people to specific booths at a farmers’ market (including your own), and how to build your farmers’ market business without relying on the market itself to find new customers for you. Farmers’ market selling is unique – even from other direct marketing approaches. Find out how to create a farmers’ market promotions plan that is based on best practices and that takes advantage of our sector’s unique – and powerful – value proposition.

(#3.) Business Skills & Smart Habits for Growing a Successful Business or Farmers’ Market

In this hour-long workshop for business owners, market vendors, and farmers’ market managers, we’ll dive into planning and business skills – concepts, habits and best practices. We’ll explore time management ideas, what work-life balance means for seasonal businesses, how working from home can be a blessing or a burden (and what to do about it), building good work habits, planning for success, understanding the difference between a hobby and a business, and cultivating a winning business mindset.

(#4.) Our Panel of Experts Speaks to Farmers’ Market Vendor Success

This one-hour session will bring together the knowledge and experience of both market managers and vendors thanks to our panel of 5 regional experts. Sharing their insight, and offering advice, this bilingual panel will focus on vendor success, avoiding all-too-common mistakes, and identifying opportunities in the marketplace.

Speaker Bios:

pm officeMichelle Wolf is a certified coach, education trainer, and Director of Training for Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia. She has worked with over 200 farm owners, managers, and entrepreneurs to help them grow successful markets and businesses through her extremely popular training programs and as private clients. Michelle owned and operated a profitable farm-based herb company for 20+ years and sold at farmers’ markets for 18 years, also managing a mid-size farmers’ market for six years and winning Market Manager of the Year. Michelle speaks at direct marketing, farmers’ market, organic agriculture and sustainable lifestyle conferences throughout North America, and we are proud that she is one of our own. She is a dynamic, engaging workshop facilitator with a wealth of organic production and agricultural business experience, and a sought-after motivational speaker on business and personal development topics. She holds a Master’s Degree from York University, is former president of Seeds of Diversity Canada, and now runs a training consulting company at .

img_0733It is fair to say that Keltie Butler has her hands in many local pies. The Executive Director of Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia, Keltie has previously worked with the Food Action Committee of the Ecology Action Centre as well as Toronto Refugee Community Non-Profit Home and Housing and as an instructor with St. Lawrence College, teaching within the Sustainable Local Food Certificate online program. Thanks to many years of apprenticing and working on small-scale organic farms, as well as Common Roots Urban Farm, Keltie has more than whet her appetite for agriculture. In fact, in 2015 she and her partner Michael began market gardening on borrowed land, operating a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) of 17 shares in their first season. And, this fall, Keltie and her partner purchased their own farm property in Scotsburn Nova Scotia. At the heart of her love of local food and farming is the unstoppable ability of food to bring people together regardless of language, culture, or age. Keltie is passionate about community development, food security, agriculture and she has a serious sweet tooth.