Cortez Farmers Market, Montezuma County, Cortez, Colorado

Cortez Farmers Market

Farmers Market Fall Meeting 11-02-08

1.  Laurie voiced our thanks to Dan for helping every week, Bessie, for getting our flyer in the Farmers Telephone bill for free, and to Nancy and Jodi for running the Friends booth and coordinating the community booth. Boxes of gifts (donations from vendors) were presented to Jodie and Nancy as a token of our appreciation.

2.  Nancy gave highlights of the Friends’ accomplishments this year, including recruiting more Friends, distributing recipes from Teena Louise, and assisted in recruiting free weekly advertising in The Cortez Journal.  She also gave us the totals for debit and EBT transactions for the season, 40 combined transactions for $964.  This is almost double what we did last year.  Also 69 market bags were sold.  The bags have now paid for themselves and we’ve so far made a profit of $165, with 31 bags left to be sold.  She presented the group with several ideas and recommendations for the future, things such as:  improving shopper communication, suggested having tables and chairs for shoppers to sit, brought up storage issues, possibility of using market bucks for gift certificates, cookbooks, mini-events, kids events, and a shopper survey.  Then she passed around the Kermit Award that was given to the Cortez Farmers Market.  If you didn’t get to see the award it will be scanned in and posted on the website within the next week.

3.  Connie spoke about the website.  Our page requests, 2007 compared to 2008, have at least doubled and in many cases tripled or quadrupled.  Spoke about updating vendor information and asked for a list of all the people we need to thank so it can be posted on the website.

4.  Laurie gave us the good news that, thanks to Trish taking over the bookkeeping and removing that burden from the Extension office, the market will be able to continue under the umbrella of the Extension office.  The group affirmed that we would like to continue this way for the next year.  We were also informed that the City of Cortez has given us a grant in the amount of $1250.  It was proposed that this money could be used to hire a market manager to handle applications, assigning spots. and working with the committee to promote the market. Laurie also updated us on the status of our Cortez Cash request, which is still pending.

5.  Trish presented the budget.  She will continue in the role of bookkeeper with the intention of handing it off to someone else in 2010.  Anyone interested in doing this can contact her any time – 564-1669 - to start learning her system.

6.  Laurie addressed some issues that came up during the season.  Of primary concern was spacing and the practice of reassigning spaces when the vendor hasn’t arrived by 7:30 am.  After much discussion the group agreed to have a policy whereby permanent vendors (those who reliably show up every week or notify when they will be gone) will not have their spots given away to temporary vendors unless they have previously notified the market manager they will be gone that week.  We spoke of an issue that came up during the season when a group was allowed to set up for voter registration and also promoted their candidate.  The issue was dealt with at the time, but other similar issues occurred the next time the individuals set up.  It should be noted that promoting candidates within 100 yards of a polling place is illegal, so we will watch for this in the future.

The group also voted yes on the proposal to pursue hiring a market manager. The committee will wait to hear if we are getting Cortez Cash, then do a budget, communicate with the vendors, then pursue the idea of hiring a market manager. Trish suggested that we post the position on the website so anyone interested can apply by sending a letter in interest.   It was also brought to our attention that 55 vendor permits were sold last season.  It was suggested that on next year’s applications a space be included for vendors to indicate when (approximately) they will be there (spring and fall, fall only, all season, etc…). 

7.  Laurie announced that she will be stepping down in the spring, having served two years.  Also Michele will be stepping down.  Kim and Matt will stay on for their second year on the committee and Trish will continue doing books but will start recruiting for someone to take over in 2010.  Anyone interested in filling those vacancies can contact Laurie at any time.  Positions will be filled at the spring meeting.  Also Connie was asked to note that we should contact the city events coordinator to see about funds to pay for musicians next year (the city provided those funds to us for music in 2008).  (Note:  Connie left a message with Ami and asked her to call or email in response.)

8.  Nancy presented some ideas for next years market and vendors present added to the list. We then voted as to which ideas were most favorable, and vendors present had opportunity to sign up to help see the ideas to fruition.

Below is the list and ideas generated:

  • Improve communication with (potential) shoppers via more advertising, an email list and/or additional promotion of our web site – 6 votes  [Post-meeting idea from Gerri:  have musicians make periodic promotional announcements. This could be included an application for musicians that includes the details of what we want/expect them to do. - like volume, announcements, tipping, and pay.]
  • Provide seating (card tables and chairs) and trash cans – 7 votes
  • Storage issues (on site storage for tables & chairs and the stuff for the Friends and Community Booths) – 10 votes & Lew Mattis volunteered to help with arranging this.
  • Market Bucks as Gift Certificates – 2 votes
  • Create a “Eat Well Montezuma County” Cook Book to promote product sales and for fund raising – 12 votes – Mary Wilson, Barbara Lynch, and Jodie Sutton will help out.
  • Mini-events/Kids events – 2votes
  • Shopper Survey – 2 votes
  • Web site – Including “map” of the market (3 votes) , updated info from all vendors, note year-round sellers, post recipes to highlight veggies in season (4 votes)
  • Create a market “guest Book/scrap book” – could be at the Friends booth (2 votes)
  • Order more shopping bags to sell
  • ALL were in favor of hiring a market manager (pending expected grant money!) A “job description” will be drafted (Trish Peters, Lew Mattis, Barbara Lynch and Paul Bohmann, and Laurie Hall are willing to do this). It was recommended that the job description will include responsibilities to track how many vendors are present each week, to be the contact person for vendors who will be absent or are just running late (so spaces aren’t given away), to sell permits and enforce policies, and help promote the market.

Thanks to everyone who brought refreshments to the meeting and made donations for the thank you gifts for “Friends”. Hope you all have a great winter!!!