Visiting the Farmers Markets by Alex Stott

This week at Carolina Farm Credit has been slightly different than all of the rest. It has been the first week that I have had the opportunity to dive into my Farmers Market Project. With production rising more and more over the last week or so, the markets have been slowly gaining more vendors as well as customers. In going out to the markets, one of my goals is to gather information for the loan officers in these areas about potential customers to benefit CFC. Although this is an important part of the project, one of my main goals is to represent CFC in a positive way to the local farmers in my area. For local farmers to know that Carolina Farm Credit supports them one hundred percent means everything. Even if they have no financial need at this time, they very well could in the near future, and it is important that we are here to finance that need. CFC’s family atmosphere provides a welcoming environment to the community, and each farmer I meet loves to hear about what I do at Carolina Farm Credit and how we are different.

Market

In visiting markets in Henderson County and Buncombe County this week, I have gotten a couple great prospects for CFC in the future. In particular, one lady I met has no farm needs at this time but it looking for financing on her home. She mentioned that within the next year or so, she’d love to come and talk with us about expanding her farm. Local farmers do not necessarily want to be bombarded during their prime selling time at the markets with a sales pitch, they just want to be able to tell their story and be supported which is exactly what I strive to do.

Another thing I have run into quite frequently at markets is familiar faces. Many vendors will travel around to different markets to sell their products and recognize CFC employees or myself from another location previously in the week. This is a point proven to the farmers and vendors that we are supporting them not just at one location but several. They enjoy speaking with us again and showing us what they have to offer to their customers. We also have seen several of our current customers at markets which also shows that CFC is supporting their community. I have really enjoyed getting out of the office this week and representing Carolina Farm Credit.


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