Direct Farm Manitoba exists to support its members and advocate on their behalf.
There are two groups or classes of membership in Direct Farm Manitoba:
- Farmer Market members – markets join our association as they have done in the past under the Farmers Market Association of Manitoba (FMAM)
- Individual members – farmers join as representing themselves and their farm
These two groups have different membership benefits, privileges and membership fee structure.
Through advocacy efforts, government relations, public awareness and other means of outreach, DFM works to create the conditions for its members to succeed.
Direct Farm Manitoba is less than a year old and we want to learn from members feedback and participation. Together, we will shape the organization to meet the needs of us all. While diverse, there is much that unifies us as small, direct-marketing farm businesses.
Advocacy and Representation
Direct Farm Manitoba provides a voice for farmers and farmers’ markets across the province within multiple levels of organizational and political discussions.
DFM has already made progress as a representational organization in Manitoba in its advocacy efforts supporting direct-marketing chicken production. Through a few scheduled meetings with the Manitoba Chicken Producers (MCP), media attention and formal appeal, DFM has voiced its position against MCP’s proposed Specialty Quota program and will continue to inform its membership about this issue. You can read about it here.
DFM runs an online farm directory and local food resource that attracts over one hundred daily visitors looking to connect directly with farmers. Members can create an individualized profile that provides an overview on their farm or market and places them on the local farm map. You can learn more about this marketing opportunity for members by visiting smallfarmsmanitoba.com.
Note that creating a profile in the online directory requires a member to create an online account through the Small Farms Manitoba website through its Sign-Up page.
DFM has partnered with SFM to run the third annual Direct Farm Conference for 2017. Members receive a discount to all events hosted by DFM. DFM is also a partner of the Direct Farm Marketing Conference – held in March of each year – that is organized by Manitoba Agriculture. Other possible member events for this year include networking mixers (chefs, farm workers) and public farm tours.
DFM aims to offer a range of services to its members to assist them in developing and growing their direct-marketing businesses. This includes facilitating the sharing of knowledge within the farm community through various means as well as keeping members informed of opportunities available.
One resource for members is the ability to post on-farm working opportunities on an online Job Board that attracts students, workers and interns who want to learn about small-scale agriculture and direct farm marketing.
DFM offers its group members (markets) the option of joining a liability insurance program that runs for one full year starting May 1st. The program has $5,000,000 general liability that provides third party property damage and bodily injury. The cost of this program is $125. Based on feedback from members in 2017, DFM may consider offering group insurance to its individual farm members.