President, North Louisiana Farm Fresh

Jean McWeeney is president of North Louisiana Farm Fresh, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that seeks to connect North Louisiana agricultural producers to consumers, and to promote local, sustainable food networks through direct-marketing opportunities and educational outreach. As one of the founders of Ruston Farmers Market, Jean knows firsthand the challenges of starting and sustaining a market with mostly volunteers. Jean has written four successful grant applications in support of operations as well as SNAP customers of Ruston Farmers Market.

Panel Discussion: The Sellers Perspective, Friday, March 8, 10:30 – 12:00 noon

The Sellers’ Perspective panel will feature panelists who utilize various outlets for their products – grocery stores, farmers’ markets, direct-to-consumers, specialty shops, etc. We’ll investigate how and why they made the choices they did and the pros and cons they see with each outlet. There will be a Q&A period for the audience.

Panel Discussion: The Buyers Perspective, Friday, March 8, 1:00 – 2:30 pm

The Buyers’ Perspective panel will feature panelists from a variety of disciplines including grocery stores, to-go food sellers, and restaurant owners. We’ll explore how they source their supplies, what they look for in local sources, tips on becoming a supplier, and if there are local/state laws that must be followed. There will be a Q&A period for the audience.

Panel Discussion: Building a Statewide Network – Farmers Market Leaders Discussion, Friday, March 8, 3:00 – 4:30 pm

Farmers market leaders will explore how a statewide association of farmers markets can help market organizations thrive through promotion, information and education, and helping build capacity. There will be a Q&A period for the audience.