Meet the Market // Come on board

Want to help 60 small businesses succeed — and fill your tummy with yumminess?

 

What if I told you that for a few hours per month, you could help put more than half a million dollars into the pockets of small businesspeople — and make the food you eat taste even better?

 

This is the honor, and pleasure, that Kingfield and Fulton farmers market volunteers and board members earn. We’d like you to consider joining us.

 

Each year, 12 board members and several dozen volunteers put on what are now 48 community festivals a year. There’s a deep feeling of satisfaction watching hundreds of neighbors congregate each week and receiving the farmers’

wisdom about how Minnesota’s bountiful land produces amazing produce, meat and cheese.

 

It’s why we volunteers do what we do, but amid all the satisfaction, we sometimes forget to ask for help. Although our board members stay for years, each year changing life circumstances mean a few must leave. And since many

hands make light work, we need to replace them to keep the whole carnival afloat.

 

As a veteran of many nonprofit boards, I’m proud we’ve forged a good, collaborative group, without the petty rivalries that sometimes develop. I think the very real tangible benefits — the food, the fun — have a lot to do with it.

But we need to constantly replenish skills as we help nurture our neighborhoods.

 

If you’re one of those people who count the days waiting for the first spring market, you’ve got passion enough for us. Headed into 2013, we have a few skills on the wish list — accounting, event planning, marketing — but honestly,

being a good, mature person is the only real requirement.

 

What can you expect as a board member? We have a two-hour monthly meeting to hash out strategy (refreshments included!). Most of our members also serve on a market operating committee that organizes business sponsorships

and events; my favorite part is deciding what will be sold each year at the market — like planning a dinner party menu and seeing the party continue for six months!

 

Our past and current board members have done a fine enough job that we now have two paid staff people who take much of the day-to-day off our shoulders. That’s another reason we want you — so we can create more jobs while

serving as a small business incubator for Kingfield, Fulton and rural Minnesota and Wisconsin.

 

If you’re interested, please contact me at [email protected] 

 

Even after doing this for many years, I’m still caught up short by the vendor who gives me an overflowing bag of produce at the end of a volunteer shift. I realize I’ve been quite happy to help even without the crunchy reward, but

the produce tastes a little better knowing it’s a labor of love.

 

David Brauer is the board chair of the Kingfield/Fulton farmers markets and former editor of the Southwest Journal.