Local Nonprofit helps Farmers Markets meet increased demand

K. William Boyer
Devils Lake Journal

DEVILS LAKE - FARRMS is recruiting interns for six North Dakota farmers markets. Interns spend a summer gaining marketing skills and helping their local farmers markets grow. Interns will assist at the farmers market, conduct customer counts and organize outreach and events. Markets hosting interns are BisMarket in Bismarck, Spirit Lake Mobile Farmers Market for the Spirit Lake Nation, Minot Farmers Market in Minot, North Prairie Farmers Market in Minot, Red River Market in Fargo, and Town Square Farmers Market in Grand Forks. These paid internships are up to 15 hours per week from June 13 through September 26, 2021.

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image: County Farm Traffic

Crews are working on the extension of Sterilite Street NE to Fohl Road as part of plans to bring the new Tractor Supply warehouse to the former county farm site (Photo: (IndeOnline.com / Kevin Whitlock))
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Farmers markets and local producers are seeing increased demand for locally produced food. In some areas of the state, demand for local foods outstrips supply, with many farmers markets selling out shortly after opening.

Farmers markets and local producers are seeing increased demand for locally produced food. In some areas of the state, demand for local foods outstrips supply, with many farmers markets selling out shortly after opening. (Northern Plains Resource Conservation and Development Council, 2019).  “More consumers want to know where their food is coming from and they want to know the farmer who grew it,” said FARRMS Executive Director, Stephanie Blumhagen, “FARRMS is providing education and support to help meet the increased demand.” Interns will attend weekly online classes and complete modules on marketing, social media outreach, farmers markets and local food systems, implementing what they learn to increase attendance at their farmers market.

Local farmers have had to battle the effects of the coronavirus pandemic because nature did not stop even when many things closed the past year.

Felicity Merritt, 2020 FARRMS intern at Red River Market says “Working as a FARRMS intern was such a positive and rewarding experience. I have been a long-time fan of the Red River Market as a customer and community member. The FARRMS Farmers Market Internship allowed me to get involved directly. I am so thankful for the experience I gained from my internship, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in local foods and community development.”

Felicity Merritt, 2020 FARRMS intern at Red River Market says “Working as a FARRMS intern was such a positive and rewarding experience. I have been a long-time fan of the Red River Market as a customer and community member. The FARRMS Farmers Market Internship allowed me to get involved directly. I am so thankful for the experience I gained from my internship, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in local foods and community development.”

About FARRMS: The Foundation for Agricultural and Rural Resources Management and Sustainability (FARRMS) is a 501c3 nonprofit providing education, peer networks, and financial support to sustainable agriculture producers in North Dakota. FARRMS has partnered with Dakota College at Bottineau to fund internships through a USDA AMS Farmers Market Promotion Program Grant. Applications for interns are open now through May 31. For more information contact info@farrms.org, call 701-480-9113 or visit www.farrms.org/farmersmarketinterns to apply.

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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