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Career Story: Office Coordinator For Local Farmers Markets

Office Coordinator For Local Farmers Markets

Job Title: Office Coordinator, Mass Farmers Markets

Type of Company: We manage farmers markets and programs for farmers markets

Education: Boston Universtiy, BA in English

Previous Experience: I sold baked goods at farmers markets for 10 years

Job Tasks: I work Monday through Friday in a Non Profit organization that manages five farmers markets in the Boston area. I process applications from vendors that want to sell their products at the farmers markets. I hire on site market managers to be the person actually at the market to help the farmers set up their stands and to answer questions for the shoppers at the markets.

I also do most of the bookkeeping for the organization including paying the bills and billing the farmers for their rent at the markets. In addition to managing farmers markets, I help people from cities and towns across Massachusetts start their own farmers markets in their town. I help them understand how to determine if there is a need for a market in their town, and I give them lists of vendors to call to ask if they will come sell their fruits and vegetables at the market, and I help them understand what they need to do to make sure they have the proper liability insurance for their Farmers Market.

I also help farmers and other vendors like bakeries and craft people find out about farmers markets that they can go to to sell their products. I provide them with a list of contact information for the market managers at the specific markets they are interested in finding out about. I spend a lot of time on the phone talking with people about farmers markets.

Because we are a non-profit organization, we do a lot of fundraising; I help my coworker, who is the Development and Community Outreach Director, with designing fund raising projects. Sometimes I work on the weekends, or in the evenings at events trying to promote our organization and encourage people to make donations to it. I also go to workshops for people who are just starting their own business. I tell them about being a vendor at a farmers market; what it is like, what kind of equipment they need and what sort of permits they will need. I also answer their questions about what it takes to be a vendor in a farmers market.

I used to run a bakery and I was a vendor at many farmers markets for about 10 years before I started to work in the job I have now. I sold the bakery.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: One of The best parts of my job is that I get to be friends with many farmers and know where food comes from and how much better food tastes when it comes from a local farm. Another best part of my job is that it is flexible; if my children are sick, or have an event at their school, I am able to take time off to be with them.

The worst part of my job is when I hve to work on the weekends; my kids have many activities and events that happen on the weekends and when I have to work, I miss them.

Job Tips:
1. Become familiar with industry that you would like to work in; get a job working in the industry you want to be a part of; for instance if you want to run a farmers market, get a job with a business that is a vendor at a market.

2. Talk to other people who have the same kind of job you are interested in; get their advice and ask if they know any body that you could speak with about getting a job.

3. Find out how much money you can earn at the job; working for a non profit is not a good way to get rich, but is usually a very rewarding experience.

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