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Farmers market

Geneva County now has a farmer’s market thanks to the hard work of the Geneva County Extension Office and former SNAP-Ed educator Tina Cook.

Cook, who was the SNAP-Ed educator of Coffee County, was instrumental in moving ahead with plans to implementing a farmer’s market in Geneva County after recognizing there were several farmers throughout the region attempting to sell their crops through social media, but there wasn’t a centralized place for everybody to come together.

Getting The Market Started

Cook worked with the Geneva County Extension Coordinator Gloria Marks to draft a proposal to take to the county commission. After getting the green light from the commissioners, a farmer’s market board was formed, and the market was on pace to open in the spring of 2020.

In June, the market hosted a grand opening filling the needs of several families throughout the area.

“The market gave a resource to many people in the county,” Cook said. “The shoppers know they are getting local, fresh produce, and they are supporting their friends and family. Additionally, there are so many local farmers in the area, and now they have a place to share their hard work with the community.”

Safety Protocols

While Cook was still an educator, she would have a table set up at the market to provide nutrition education. Although she wasn’t allowed to have face-to-face interactions due to the COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, she still provided Live Well Alabama recipe cards, USDA 10-tip sheets for healthy meals, and bags with Live Well Alabama teaching tools.

“I wanted to do recipe demos because that’s where you can reach so many people, but still being able to push those recipe cards was definitely a big thing because we were giving kits for nutrition education to the public,” Cook said.

Cook also spent time leading up to the farmer’s market’s first week marketing its opening on social media and during each week leading up to the market day. She said the market day would consist of families and children, many of who quality for SNAP-Ed benefits.

The educator in Gevena and Coffee counties is now Sicily Stacy. To reach Stacy, call (334) 684-2484 or email her at sls0131@aces.edu.

To find more success stories about SNAP-Ed educators, visit LiveWellAlabama.com.

Sicily Stacy, SNAP-Ed Educator in Geneva and Coffee counties.

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