Market parameters, personnel to be set

Jan. 04, 2014 @ 01:18 PM

A new farmers market advisory board with 13 members will take shape at Monday night’s Vance County Board of Commissioners meeting.

The board will vote on the purpose of the farmers market, market objectives, functions and operations, board composition and proposed advisory board members at Monday’s meeting.

Ideas for the market emerged back in 2009 when community members and the Vance County Farm Bureau pushed for a farmers market facility in the county.

Since then, the county has received grant money from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission and the N.C. Agriculture Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund, as well as a matching offer from the Farm Bureau.

Construction on the 7,500-square foot building off South Beckford Drive began in August 2013 and a grand opening for the market is set for early spring.

The new market provides 18 vendor spaces with about 1,500 square feet for restrooms, an office, a storage room and small meeting room adjacent to the main market area.

The proposed purpose of the new farmers market advisory board is to advise and make recommendations for the operation, promotion, support and growth of a successful regional farmers market, according to a draft in the agenda materials prepared for Monday’s meeting.

The proposed objectives are to encourage regional participation, provide a friendly family appropriate atmosphere and equal opportunity for participation and profitability.

A draft of the proposed objectives states the market management will not be allowed to regulate or influence product prices.

The volunteer advisory board will meet bi-monthly, work closely with the farmers market manager and recommend market procedures, which must be adopted by the county commissioners, according to the draft in the agenda materials.

The proposed function of the advisory board grants the commissioners final authority for all aspects of the farmers market.

The board composition includes one Cooperative Extension staff member, six farmers/sellers, two customers, one Vance County representative, two agricultural community representatives, one member from the Granville-Vance Health District and one Vance commissioner.

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.