April 10, 2008 - Minutes from the Cortez Farmers Market Spring meeting
Fellow Farmers Market Vendors and Friends,
The annual spring meeting was action packed and full of information. Some important issues remain unresolved, so a second meeting has been called. Because the market is growing and no longer fits in the Extension office, our next meeting, described below, will be at Empire Electric on April 29, 7:00 pm.
Important dates to remember:
- Bake sale to raise funds for our new advertising banner April 19, City Market, 10am-2pm. Call Laurie @ 882-3834 or just bring your goodies to sell.
- Opening day of the Cortez market is Saturday, June 7
- Next Meeting, Empire Electric’s Calvin Denton Room April 29th 7pm. Discussion will be the budget and a “job description” for the Farmers Market Committee.
Annual Spring Meeting Minutes April 8th 7pm
Attendance: Approximately 45 vendors, Tom Hooten of the CSU Extension Service, Diane and Kevin Toman of The Cabins at Bear Creek and Melissa Wilson of the Health Department.
*The Farmers Market committee (spring ’07 to spring ’08) was Laurie Hall, Michele Martz, Kim Lindgren, Dan Griffin, Barbara Lynch (not present).
*Harvest Dinner Discussed. Guests Diane and Kevin Toman of The Cabins at Bear Creek presented a menu and reply card soliciting ingredients for a “Local Food Awareness” dinner that they are hosting in September. The dinner is to raise funds for “a slush fund” to raise awareness of local food. The Toman’s are working with Marcie Cummins at the Chamber of Commerce on this event. Interested growers can call the Tomans at 562-3857.
*Melissa Wilson of the Montezuma County Health Department spoke about permits, regulations and the availability of commercial kitchens. She requested that people let her know what kitchen is used in preparation of foods that require a commercial kitchen. She also discussed regulations regarding eggs, and answered questions about what foods require permits. Melissa can be reached at 565-3056 ext. 225. The Colorado Public Health Department website is: http://www.cdphe.state.co.us
*Michele Martz briefly described the committee’s work since January, and showed designs for marketing and advertising items for the coming season, including canvas shopping bags and a poster to sell to raise funds for the market. The committee has obtained approval from the County Commissioners to hang an advertising banner on the Courthouse building for the entire season. Michele also highlighted cooperative work that has been done with other organizations in the community.
* Rosie Carter raised a concern about the roles and responsibilities of the committee. She asked who had given the committee permission to proceed with these endeavors.
*Michele Martz reminded vendors that they voted on and approved spending Farmers Market monies on shopping bags and a banner at the annual meeting of 2007 and that a committee was formed to take on these endeavors.
*After much discussion it became apparent that a “job description” for the committee needs to be drafted and voted upon. This “job description” will make clear what issues require the whole group’s involvement, and what issues are the responsibilities of the committee. There has never before existed such a definition for those who coordinate the market. Michele Martz requested that the vendors give the committee input on what their job is. Suggestions included selling permits, secretary for minutes and promotion of the market. Rob Wilson stated that a clause should be included in the job description that gives the committee authority to spend a certain amount of money from the budget without an annual meeting approval.
* Tom Hooten stated that the Extension office is really, really busy and suffering from employee cutbacks. The CSU Extension office would like the Farmers Market to take over its own books. A discussion ensued over the market having to become a 501c3 nonprofit or being able to be under the umbrella of the CSU Extension office or another nonprofit’s umbrella. Hooten said that he will find out if we can do our own books and still remain under CSU’s umbrella. Hooten also commented with some hesitation that LeeAnn will continue to do our books for this season as long as someone from the Farmers Market helps her out on a weekly basis. Hooten recommended a publication on Farmers Market Rules and Regulations that cost $25.
*Trish Peters stepped forward and offered her bookkeeping skills to help LeeAnn this year as an interim solution. Lew Mettis offered to help Trish Peters in this endeavor.
*It was put forth that everyone “chip in” a dollar to the pot for Tom to buy the Farmers Market publication. At the end of the night $33 had been collected. Any monies remaining after the purchase of the book and postage will be deposited to the Farmers Market account.
*It was decided that a vendor meeting will be set in the fall to discuss options for the market to become independent of the CSU Extension Service. In the meantime everybody is encouraged to research options that the market has in taking over its books. This may mean becoming a 501c3 organization or being under the umbrella of another nonprofit organization. The fall meeting will likely be in October.
*Laurie Hall discussed last year’s spending. Heavier use of print advertising than ever before was designed to announce the new EBT/debit card program, and to reach beyond our typical customer base. Laurie Hall, who had been placing advertisements on behalf of the market in the ’07 season, took responsibility for having overspent, resulting in a deficit of $236.02. Additionally, approximately $100.00 in State and internet fees has been incurred in 2008. Vendors stated their concerns over using personal money to purchase promotion items and wanted more information on the costs of these items.
*Rick Gregory made a plea to have a budget prepared. After discussion on how best to get this information out to the vendors, an April 29th meeting was set to discuss the budget and the committee’s job description.
* It was agreed that the Farmers Market is not to incur any more expenses until the balance is back up in the black. During the discussion of last year’s spending, Rosie said there has never been an operating budget beyond following the previous year’s example. It was suggested that the committee should use two models: one with fees at $35 and one with fees raised. Lew Mettis and Trish Peters offered to help formulate the budget and gather input from vendors.
* Copies of draft by-laws were handed out for review. Kim Lindgren had drafted proposed by-laws in preparation for the market to take over the books and become more independent from the Extension Service. Michele Martz commented that even though we may not need these by-laws currently, that it was a good idea for people to familiarize themselves with the concept of by-laws because the market is continuing to grow.
* Committee seats were discussed. Barbara Lynch has excused herself from the committee as she is retiring and wants to relax a bit. A motion and vote was made to fill this position with Trish Peters. Dan Griffin has had injury problems and finds it difficult to attend committee meetings, and also excuses himself from the committee, but will be on hand at farmers market to help with our needs. A motion and vote was made to fill this position with Matt Lauer.
*Connie Baber presented an update on the Farmers Market website. She had a chart of hits on the Farmers Market web site, which have been sizable. She will be updating the site as needed. She asked vendors to get her updated information on their booth if there is anything they would like to change. Connie agreed to post minutes from the committee and vendor meetings on the web for us.
*A few vendors commented that they do not use the web. Michele Martz proposed that a copy of the minutes be held at the CSU Extension office for people to review and make a copy of.
*Kim Lindgren reviewed the results of the first year of the EBT program. All agreed that it is a worthwhile program and we’ll do it again this year.
*Connie Baber commented that she felt that the $1 charge on the Debit program we charge to customers is potentially driving people away from using the program. The $1 charge was discussed as to how it covers the fees that we are charged for the program.
A motion was made and a vote taken to not change the fee structure of the program from last year.
*Market layout was discussed. A proposal was submitted by the committee to change the Market layout to be in a straight line from Main to the mural building. After some discussion, the shape of the layout was voted on and the layout of the vendor spaces shall remain in an “L” shape. A minor change was made to have the vendors on Main Street all face the same direction, to the south. Vendors will be able to select their spot in the Market at the April 29 meeting. Every attempt will be made to honor seniority. Rick Gregory suggested that vendors who do not regularly attend the market every weekend move themselves to the south end of the market, so that there are no holes in the layout. Rosie Carter and others confirmed that a motion was passed last year stating that if vendors were not in their designated spot by 7:30am, then their spot was open to others needing a spot that day.
* “Friends of the Cortez Farmers Market” was presented by Nancy McGill. She described the new group as being comprised of devoted fans of the Market. Their role, on a voluntary basis, is to run the new Friends booth, do community outreach and fundraising. The booth will house the EBT/debit transactions, educational information as available, and will have promotional items for sale. If you know a good candidate who would like to be involved in the Friends, they can call Nancy at 564-1648.
*Connie suggested that this year’s permit be light blue. All agreed. Permits will be available at the April 29 meeting and thereafter at the Extension office, 109 W. Main Street. Rosie Carter reminded people to bring their checkbooks and buy permits so that we can get some funds in our bank account and go ahead with some items on the budget.