Williamsburg Farmers’ Market

An Interview with Tracy Herner, Williamsburg Farmers’ Market Manager 
By Adia Davis, OCE Communications Intern
Williamsburg Farmers Market
What do you do as the market manager?
As the market manager of the Williamsburg Farmers Market, I am responsible for a lot of things. I handle vendor recruitment and retention; volunteer recruitment, management and retention; manage a staff; oversee advertising and marketing; website design and development; accounts receivables and payables; manage the budget; and oversee all programs and events for the market.
What is your favorite part about working with the Farmer’s Market?
I love the excitement of no two days being the same, and the wide variety of people I get to work with.
How does the Farmer’s Market benefit the community?
The market benefits the community by meeting a need. It connects the community with farmers, bakers and watermen. It creates and fosters a sense of community beyond the apparent retail angle. In addition, our programs are reaching diverse audiences: the young (with our Power of Produce Club for kids aged 5 – 12) and the lower income food insecure with our SNAP matching program.
What do William & Mary students do at the Farmers’ Market?
William & Mary students are customers, volunteers, and interns at the market.  Most students who volunteer, volunteer at the market help with setting up, answering questions, or breaking down the market.  Some students come volunteer at the office.  There, they help with data entry, data collection, data management, and many other things.
How does students’ volunteer work affect the community? 
The market has only 3 employees. The volunteers increase our capacity to do more.  William & Mary students helped design our Power of Produce Club.  Another student aided us with a 3 year research project with the Farmers Market Coalition and the University of Wisconsin about data collection at farmers markets.
Is there anything specific you hope students learn from their time at the Farmers’ Market?
I hope students learn to appreciate all that goes in to bringing local food to the community.