Props to the BOD

As I might’ve mentioned on this blog before, I serve on the BOD of the Vermillion Area Farmers Market (and a great BOD we have! ;-)).

The other members of the board of directors are V.P. Mike Gaidelis, Treasurer Amy Schweinle, and Secretary Grace Freeman.  These people are some of the best, most reasonable folks I’ve ever worked with anywhere, and they’re even tolerant of my flipping out and sending mass quantities of e-mail about every detail of everything we’re working on.

Tomorrow begins our umpteenth market together (with Amy as the exception–she came on board after our previous treasurer left in the only way you get to leave the farmers market board–join the Peace Corps and move to Swaziland).  Thankfully, Amy joined even knowing there is no escape clause. Or maybe she thought that was a joke.

Characteristically, I’ve been sending about five e-mails a day for the last several days after a hiatus of about a month of none–before that it was five-a-day about the EBT/debit stuff for a month or two, a couple meetings, dozens of phone calls, etc.

Now the site is secured, the pop-ups are located, the bathroom key is reserved, the paperwork is printed, the contracts are mailed, the posters are being hung as I write this.  It has been a long ride to get to where we are now–and I don’t mean just this year, this market.

When we started out (ironically, pretty close to where we ended up), there would be days when there’d be three vendors.  Two vendors.  Anything over five seemed “big” for a few years in a few different locations.  We were downtown and almost got run over by motorists circumventing our barricades; we were at the VAAC where no one could find us–though in the second year a few more did.

Now we’re the first market in the state to (as of tomorrow) collectively accept EBT & debit transactions, we have a Facebook group with seventy-some members and growing, and we scored a grant from the State Dept. of Ag to help with advertising and the EBT/debit program.

Best of all, we have regular vendors and dedicated customers.

None of this would’ve been possible without the unpaid but dedicated, committed, slogging-through-mud-determined efforts of the market board over the past seven years.

And a shout-out as well to our market manager of the past two seasons, Caitlin Collier, who has returned to her law practice this year, but helped immeasurably during the last two herding us cats and getting our non-profit paperwork in order.

In the past, we’ve been called that “bunch of hippies,” so if I may, I’d like to quote the Grateful Dead and say, “What a long, strange [and fulfilling] trip it’s been.”


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Caitlin Collier on May 21, 2009 at 8:42 am

    Thanks for the shout-out. I hope you know how much I will miss being the manager. I look forward, however, to being a regular customer of the Farmer’s Market!

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