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Farmer's Market opening May 2nd, community involvement key to success

By: Lacy Hilliard
Tomahawk Writer/Photogpraher

“No farms, no food” has become a popular mantra in today’s culture and a growing societal shift can be witnessed in terms of the mentality toward agriculture and its importance to the increasing population. Johnson County has long been an agriculturally minded community. Paying homage to the past, present and future of Johnson County is the Johnson County Farmer’s Market.
The Johnson County Farmer’s Market held a community meeting on April 4 to discuss the upcoming market season as well as the future of the JCFM. Several board members as well as vendors past and present were in attendance. As farmers typically have a passion for mealtime, the meeting was held in the form of a potluck with several delicious dishes to try.
The JCFM Board Members are hopeful about the future of the market but they’re also honest about the struggles it faces. The main focus this year will be to inspire additional vendors as well as new board members. The current board has been volunteering their time for several years now and the current treasurer is hoping to resign soon. The board is looking not only for local farmers to join but also for any community members hoping to promote the market.
In previous years, the JCFM has offered a “Double your dollars” program to all those making purchases with an EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) card. The purpose of the program was to help increase access to farm fresh food for low-income individuals. “Johnson County was one of the pioneers of the Double Your Dollars program,” said Robert Back with JCFM President Bob Carlough adding, “Johnson County has the greatest need.” The program gained in popularity both locally and statewide. However, due to the lack of grant funding for the 2015 season, the JCFM is unable to offer the Double Your Dollars program this year. The market will, however, continue to accept EBT cards for all applicable food products at the 2015 market. The Double Your Dollars program is set to resume in the 2016 season.

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