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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Volunteer uses college project to help Milford Farmers Market

MILFORD – Social media is finding its way into the majority of daily life, and farmers markets are no exception.

Currently in its 35th year, the Milford Farmers Market has given its Facebook marketing a summer makeover. I am using Facebook to spotlight the market’s local produce, meats, baked goods, coffee, preserves and dairy products, sharing pictures and news to attract customers. ...

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MILFORD – Social media is finding its way into the majority of daily life, and farmers markets are no exception.

Currently in its 35th year, the Milford Farmers Market has given its Facebook marketing a summer makeover. I am using Facebook to spotlight the market’s local produce, meats, baked goods, coffee, preserves and dairy products, sharing pictures and news to attract customers.

While working toward my M.S. in leadership with Granite State College, I’m volunteering with the market this summer. I chose the Milford Farmers Market because I saw an opportunity to put the coursework into practice to benefit my local food economy.

I am a huge enthusiast of local food, and I saw an opportunity to help support the Milford Farmers Market with many of my classroom experiences in the leadership program. I have gained valuable insight to the business of the market and have met some really great people.

I work closely with the summer market manager, Noreen O’Connell, of Butternut Farm, and also with the market’s 11 vendors. My goal is to convey in pictures and words why local food is important. I want to talk to our customers through social media, sharing the best of what our farmers and vendors have to offer.

As I continue to explore my graduate coursework, I find that almost every successful endeavor comes down to good communication. In the spring and summer, the farmers are busy from sunup until sundown and don’t always have the time or ability to maintain a website or social media account. This is where I saw an opportunity to contribute my time to “walk the talk.”

In class, I’m always talking about the importance of consistent and clear business communication. Working with the farmers’ market, I’m able to put my words into action while supporting my local food economy.

My intention is to integrate my experiences of this summer with the Milford Farmers Market into my graduate capstone project, a requirement for the master’s program at Granite State College. It is an opportunity for me to research and exhibit the knowledge I have gained from the curriculum.

I hope to put a real-world spin on the academic work. I want to draw upon my experiences this summer to support the larger idea of consistent, positive and clear communication.

The Milford Farmers Market is open from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays from mid-June through mid-October at Granite Town Plaza, Route 101A, Elm Street.

Follow the Milford Farmers Market efforts at www.facebook.com/
MilfordFarmersMarket
OfNh.

Elizabeth Lathrop has lived in Milford for five years. She graduated from Merrimack High School in 2001 and from the University of New Hampshire in 2005, earning a Bachelor of Arts.