Cortez Farmers Market, Montezuma County, Cortez, Colorado

Cortez Farmers Market

Minutes from the January 24, 2008 Market Committee Meeting

 

Hi Committee,

Here’s a recap of the Jan. 24 meeting:

 

Present: Michele, Barbara, Kim, Laurie.   Missing: Dan

 

Laurie handed out an ambitious agenda. We tried to get to most of the important stuff.

 

Money:

Our balance is -$236.02, mostly because Laurie tried new advertising placements, and due to lack of communication with the Extension Office, overspent.

Most of the meeting was spent discussing the best use of our money in the coming season.

Kim suggested that we virtually do away with paid newspaper advertising, and instead use the “Community Events” section in the Cortez Journal since it’s free. Everyone agreed.

Everyone agreed that it would be a good idea to take over the books from Extension to better keep track of the account. We would need to do the following to make it so:

• From Tom Hooten regarding the FM committee taking over the books:
     * The extension office likes the idea of us taking over the books.

     * Set up a checking account that would require two signatures.

     * Draft operating guidelines (bylaws?) that would be voted on by the committee and
        vendors.

     * Elect officers for the FM.

     * The account would be turned over after the balance is positive.

     * At that time an audit would need to be done before the new person(s) take it over.

 

 

We discussed the possibility of the FM moving to Market Street, if indeed the city is willing to close the street north of Main on Saturday mornings. Pros: more space, free bathrooms. Laurie will find out if indeed the city is still considering the idea. Meanwhile, all should keep their minds open to other possible locations that have access to a bathroom and fit the other criteria important to the FM (access, visibility, parking, etc.)

 

Barbara wondered if we can use the courthouse bathroom; someone would need to talk to the bldg manager to see if it’s possible. No plan made.

 

Everyone liked the idea of putting a banner on the Courthouse building for the whole season. Would someone like to find out who to talk to? Laurie will take a photo of the building and do a sketch of a banner to show how it would look on the building. Laurie will present an idea for the banner at the next meeting.

 

Space layout was briefly discussed and changing the layout to go straight north to south was agreed upon. Laurie will find out about fire lane restrictions.

 

A permanent space available to community groups was approved. There would be a different group each week. Organizer TBD.

 

Michele will research grants that we may be able to apply for. Barbara offered to write the grant(s) if she has a good example to follow.

 

Laurie will draft a letter to Le Pew to see if they can provide service at a discount or donation.

 

Kim and Michele had ideas about getting free exposure in the Journal along the lines of letting people know what’s current at the market. Kim had an idea to recruit someone who would be given a budget to shop once a month or once every two weeks and they would write up their recipe and how much they paid for stuff and get it in the newspaper. The idea is to combat some people’s impression that the FM is too expensive. I think Michele’s idea was mainly to let people know what’s available week to week.

 

Recipe book: we need more recipes! Would someone like to take on the collection of more recipes? The suggestion was made to include some stories and/or photos from local farmers. Any one want to head that up? Laurie can do layout…maybe the content could be handled by the as-yet imaginary “Friends”.

 

Anyone want to pursue finding out what’s involved in getting one of those permanent blue highways sign erected?

 

Everyone was in favor of creating a bigger poster to promote the market, making EBT an important component.

 

EBT: Ways to reach potential EBT customers was discussed. Laurie will make a flyer specifically for the EBT office and the Pinon Project to post. We also discussed the likely demographic of the EBT customer. Everyone please send ideas to Laurie to compile a location list for putting up posters.

 

Even though vendors seem generally okay with the idea of raising the fee to $45, Kim suggested that since we have a deficit, that a proposal for an increase would not be well received. All agreed. With the new minimal-advertising strategy, we won’t need as much money anyway.

 

It looks like the shopping bags will cost under $6 each and can be ordered over the internet. Laurie brought pages off the internet showing styles and prices, but we ran out of time to look at them. Laurie will pick two or three of the best and present costs and design at the next meeting. Laurie offered to cover the production cost until the bank account is healthier.

 

Laurie introduced the idea of creating a “Friends of the Farmers Market” campaign to solicit donations of goods, time, and/or money from our community. Connie (via email) had suggested that we don’t ask for money. The committee agreed in general and decided that the most important needs are:

* Someone to person the EBT/info booth

* A canopy for the EBT booth

* Shopping bags to sell

* Some early fundraiser to get funds to start the season above zero (Tom: bake sale?)

Laurie to talk to Ami Fair about funds the city might have for a specific aspect of FM; Kim suggested their funds (if available) be used for EBT-related items as it has a community service aspect. Shoot for $500. Also propose that the city donate $500 for a banner as well.

Kim suggested creating a “Friends of the Cortez Farmers Market” that is made up of members of the community who are enthusiastic about the FM, and including one member of our committee to provide direction. She said lots of FMs around the country do this. MCAN was suggested as a group that might be interested in helping out the FM. (at this point Michele and Barbara had to go. Laurie and Kim continued the Friends discussion) Kim offered to write the “Friends” mission statement to provide framework by 2/1. Laurie will come up with a few names to approach as possible “Friends” committee members by 2/1. Please email Laurie potential nominees if you think of any. The focus of the Friends would be to provide support for the FM in the following ways:

Fundraising, promotion (bags, bumper stickers, subsidize advertising, etc.), EBT infrastructure, run the EBT booth, have a banner created to advertise the market.

Michele, Barbara and Dan, what do you think?

 

Kim may talk to the High School for a student to person the EBT booth for school credit – Laurie will email her info from Connie. Depending on the student, he or she may take on more of the Market Manager tasks such as assigning numbers and spaces.

OR

This role may be filled by our “Friends”.

OR

???

 

Kim suggested that we meet again in two weeks rather than in a month. How’s Thursday, Feb 7 noon at Let it Grow?

 

That’s all for now. I’ll chat with y’all soon!

peace, Laurie