70th Annual Conference Highlights -
April 6-9, 2016 - Kansas City, Missouri

      
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The City Market in Kansas City, MO, hosted the NAPMM 70th Annual Conference April 6 – 9, 2016. More than 50 of the organization’s 113 members were in attendance.

The conference opened with the NAPMM President’s Reception at Boulevard Brewing Company, the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest with distribution to 31 states.

During the 3-day meeting, participants visited the City Market, home of the largest farmers’ market in the Midwest, where they had a chance to get a taste of and explore the City Market’s signature eclectic atmosphere filled with diverse people, products, sights, food, music and activity. Attendees also visited The Overland Park Farmers’ Market, a suburban market in Overland Park, Kansas.

“The conference was a very enriching experience for our organization,” Rose Harrell, NAPMM President and Director of Facilities of the Maryland Food Center Authority, said. “In addition to gaining insight into the role of agriculture and food as it relates to markets in Kansas City, it also provided valuable information-sharing and networking opportunities among our membership.”

Attendees also toured nearby farms and agri-business operations, many of which are market vendors, including:

  •  Shatto Milk Company, a successful family-owned dairy, in Osborn MO
  •  Hank’s Windy Ridge Greenhouse, a Farmers’ Market produce vendor, in Plattsburg MO
  •  New Roots For Refugees, an agricultural educational and mentoring program at Juniper Gardens in Kansas City KS
  •  Bird’s Botanicals Orchid Farm in underground caves in Kansas City MO
  •  C&C Produce, a wholesale produce distributor in Kansas City MO

Between tours, market professionals attended industry-specific educational and best practice sessions for both retail and wholesale markets covering a variety of topics including:

  •  Managing SNAP and Matching Grant programs
  •  Planning for the Future
  •  Marketing & Events
  •  Consumer Trust
  •  Trends in Employment Law for Market Managers
  •  History of Missouri Wines
  •  Commercial Leasing: Understanding Lease Differences and Enforcing Rules & Regulations

 The conference closed with a banquet featuring a special performance from home grown “agritainers,” The Peterson Farm Brothers, from Assaria KS in central Kansas.