Atlanta State Farmers Market Tour

National Association of Produce Market Managers

Founded in 1947, NAPMM strives to help market managers improve facilities and increase services while encouraging cooperation and exchange of ideas between members and partners.

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Georgia State Farmers Market Hosts a Memorable 73rd Annual Conference

Thanks and kudos to our hosts Paul Thompson and Jeff Howard for hosting a memorable, educational, informative and fun annual conference May 15-18. The mix of Southern hospitality and friendliness and the cosmopolitan, hustle, bustle of the thriving Atlanta metro area provided a great atmosphere to explore and learn about a variety of Markets ranging from the sprawling Georgia State Farmers Market, which is probably the second largest by volume produce market in the country, to the iconic and historic Municipal Market at Sweet Auburn. Tours also included the “food hall’ and much, much more at the Ponce market, which by the way, is traversed by Atlanta’s hottest new alternative transportation and housing magnet the “beltline”, and a another new “west coast style” market, Krog Street,  in a former warehouse/manufacturing building in the historic Inman Park neighborhood.

The tours were not all City centric. We also toured one the South’s largest agritourisim destinations Jaemor Farms. A family run experiential, immersive, marketing and learning model that draws thousands annually. Conference goers were treated to their world famous, homemade ice cream and lots of good stories.

The conference began with a welcome and great overview of Georgia’s agricultural heritage and future relayed as only Commissioner Gary Black can, followed by a professional development session lead by Dale Carnegie’s Vice President of Training Ercell Charles. His interactive session on “Team Building and Succession Planning”, was cited by many attendees as the best personal development talk they have ever experienced.

Wholesale and retail breakouts featured USDA and PACA updates, a retail session presented by our friend Larry Lund, on trends in retail markets which was jam packed with statistics and current and future consumer shopping habits that we all can use as we plan our market’s future paths and a couple great round tables.

Hotel accommodations, and food were first rate and the staff went above and beyond to make sure all our needs were taken care of. A number of folks took in one or two Braves games and we all experienced the great food and of course beverage venues of the Battery.

Thanks again to our hospitable southern hosts, the Programs and Policy Committee and of course the “glue that holds us together, NAPMM Administrator, our own southern belle, Linda Best. Wherever NAPMM goes next year, which is in discussion at this time, it will be tough to top this one.

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