Busy farmers market

This is the Ashe County Farmers Market on a busy Saturday morning in 2015.

WEST JEFFERSON — The Ashe County Farmers Market board members voted to change the composition of its 11-member market governing board of directors and installed new leadership at meetings on Nov. 10 and Nov. 17.

The board voted on Nov. 10 to modify existing by-laws, opening two of their 11 director seats for community members. Previously, only vendor members were eligible to serve on the board of directors. According to market manager Lori Goodman, the change was welcomed as an opportunity to build bridges with the community in order to strengthen relationships, create board diversity, and to ensure the market strengthens its community connections.

The following week at the market’s general membership meeting on Nov. 17, the board filled three vacant board seats and elected new board leadership, filling their executive positions with the following individuals:

President: Brian Chatham, High Mountain Farms

Vice-president: Amanda Gentry (new), Created on the Mountain/Popcorn Girls

Treasurer: Tim Miller, Highland Meadows Cattle Company

Secretary: Laura Bower

In addition to the directors listed above, the 2017 market board includes the following members: Mike Eldreth (new), Carol Long (new), Alan Hanson, Martin McVey, and Hollis Wild. Directors serve a 3-year term and may serve for two consecutive terms.

In a move to fill the two community seats a nominating committee was formed at a December meeting and is expected to present names to the board for their consideration in January.

According to Goodman, the board is seeking to fill the two community positions with community leaders, friends of the market, and/or people working for entities who share common goals from local government or from the business community. Anyone interested in serving on the board in one of the two community seats is encouraged to contact the board members above or the market manager.

Board President Brian Chatham said: “The opening of these two board positions provides the community a seat at the table in order to bring in some fresh ideas and a new perspective. Our market provides a great opportunity to shop local and fresh for seasonal produce, in addition to supporting our county’s local artisans. We are looking for ways in which to grow community support and participation.”

Vendors interested in joining the market for the 2017 season and all current vendors should plan on attending the Market Expo and Seed Swap scheduled for Saturday, March 4, at Family Central.

More details on this event and on becoming a market vendor are available on the website at www.ashefarmesmarket.com. Growers and producers from Ashe County, Alleghany County, Watauga County, Wilkes County, Johnson County, Tenn., and Grayson County, Va., are eligible to join the market.

Craft vendors are accepted from Ashe County only and must be juried and approved as a new vendor. A craft jury date will be scheduled in March 2017. Details on the jury date will be announced on the website and via local media prior to that event.

The market opens for the 2017 season on Saturday, April 15, 2017. For more information, contact Market Manager Lori Goodman at ashe.county.farmers.market@gmail.com or call (336) 877-5052.

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