Walker County Success Stories
Battlefield Field Market (PDF) (139 KB) html
Thanks to the help of the Limestone Valley Resource Conservation and Development Council (RC&D), Battlefield Farmers Market is growing by leaps and bounds! The market was visualized by the Walker County Young Farmers Association, who then approached Limestone Valley RC&D Council and the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service for help with the initial start-up. Limestone Valley RC&D wrote and applied for a grant through the Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research program known as SARE.
While the grant was being processed, Limestone Valley RC&D, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Walker County Young Farmers held two information, education and orientation meetings for potential growers, partners and interested persons. Wendi Crager from Cottonmill Farmers Market in Carrollton gave a presentation at one of the meetings.
Her market started the same way just a few years ago with help from Rolling Hills RC&D. The information she brought to Walker County was invaluable. Walker County Commissioner, Bebe Hieskell gave permission to hold the weekly market at the county’s new Agricultural Center building free of charge.
Limestone Valley RC&D has handled some of the publicity such as signage, postcards and the website; www.battlefieldfmkt.org. The newly- formed Market Board hired Alex McGregor as Market Manager. Alex has been a real asset to the market with his background in agriculture. He has been responsible for local newspaper and television public service appearances. He has also been personally meeting with potential growers and vendors to expand the market.
The market started in June 2005 with only four vendors (and over 300 customers). In less than two months, the number of vendors grew to 19. On the average, 10-15 vendors participate every week. Thanks to all the publicity, the number of customers has also continued to grow.
The mission statement of the market is to foster land stewardship, good health and community interaction by creating an outlet for small farmers to market locally produced products directly to the consumer. It will provide a foundation for building partnerships among farmers, agriculturists, consumers and the business community.
Battlefield Farmers Market will continue to be promoted as a source of locally produced agricultural products, as well as emphasizing the cultural and economic benefits of supporting local farmers and eating local fresh foods.
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