About the Conference:
The national Keeping Our Communities Healthy Conference (TKOCH) is the largest healthy communities conference in Texas and Southwest U.S. The annual event is an effort to increase awareness of food, nutrition, agriculture and wellness initiatives in an effort to build a healthier community. Experts, leaders, advocates and stakeholders from the food, nutrition, agriculture, health & wellness industry come together to talk about best practices, solutions, innovative models, network and share the latest news and research on what is happening in Texas and across the nation
Healthy Schools (includes coordinated school health & wellness, school nutrition, farm to school and other school agricultural initiatives)
Farmers Market University (includes farmers markets and other community agricultural initiatives which promote healthy eating and food access)
Food & Nutrition (includes food education, food safety, food insecurity, food waste, food access, summer feeding and general community nutrition)
Healthy Communities (includes the built environment; wellness, parks & recreation, after school programs, community transformation and revitalization)
Farmers Market University (FMU) is a program presented by Hunger Free Texans and The Texas Department of Agriculture’s Go Texan Program offered at the Keeping Our Communities Healthy Conference.
The FMU program provides a core curriculum of 4 breakout sessions taught by best practice farmers markets from Texas and around the nation through the FMU track at the annual Keeping Our Communities Healthy Conference (TKOCH) in May. The core curriculum provides a foundation or refresher for agriculture entrepreneurs, farmers’ market staff or producers who may want to learn how to start, enhance or sustain a farmers market. The track is also open to community, schools, healthcare organizations and others seeking to learn how to start a successful farmers market in their communities. Core curriculum breakouts are provided on day one of the three-day national conference. Attendees who complete all 4 core breakouts of the FMU track are graduates of the program and receive a certificate of completion and technical assistance for 1 year after.
FMU 101: The Foundation of a Successful Market
This breakout will give attendees a general overview of what a successful Farmers Market will look like. Content will include establishing a governing body, engaging community stakeholders, developing bylaws, operating rules, a mission statement and ultimately a budget and fee structure to ensure sustainability. This breakout will also explain the process to become certified by the Texas Department of Agriculture.
FMU 102: Managing Your Market
An essential ingredient of a successful market includes a qualified market point of contact or market manager. This breakout will explain the various responsibilities of a market point of contact or manager. The session will also identify how to find farmers and vendors for your stand to include EBT equipment & other supply vendors. The attendee will also learn how to price product.
FMU 103: Marketing, Stand Design & Layout
Finding the right location for a successful business is always important. A smart design and layout to include how well you market to get the word out are also essentials to attract customers. This breakout will discuss how to successfully market your farmers market to include print and social media. Attendees will also learn how to design a good layout for your vendors and people flow.
FMU 104: Producers Forum
This moderated breakout will provide attendees an opportunity to learn and speak directly with local producers within the state of Texas. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn directly from producers about their needs. The producers driven content will include their expectations of market managers, the average number of farmer’s market participation, the distance producers are willing to travel, ideal market customer base, comfort level with various methods payment (cash, credit/debit, SNAP, WIC, etc.) and other producer identified points of views and needs of what they are looking for in ideal farmers market.
FMU Supplemental Breakouts:
FMU also offers supplemental breakouts on a variety of agricultural support topics. An attendee can take any number of these breakouts that are not part of the FMU core curriculum. Supplemental breakouts are taught by best practice organizations and offered on day 2 & 3 of the annual conference.. Supplemental breakouts may include topics on wellness, government programs, food safety, community gardens, urban farms and urban gardens, community revitalization through farmers markets and other topics. Supplemental breakouts are available for viewing starting January of each year through the TKOCH Conference Library.
Food, Nutrition, & Healthy Communities
2017 Conference Highlights:
2016 Annual Conference:
2017 Conference Tracks:
-2017 Conference Theme: Screening individual and families for food insecurity in all healthcare & non-healthcare settings.
-3-Day Learning Conference: Includes 5 general sessions and over 40 breakout learning sessions from national best practices..
-Continuing Education: Hours will be provided for public health professionals, registered dietitians through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics & for Texas school nutrition professionals.
-Farmers Market University (FMU): The nation's first national Farmers Market University, est 2016, provides continuing education to market managers and interested professionals on a variety of farmers market and related supplemental topics.
For general info about the 2016 TKOCH Conference:
The Largest Healthy Communities Conference in the Southwest
Early Registration is $250 through Dec 31st!
General Registration is $350 starting Jan 1st.
Come learn about the latest and greatest on
food, nutrition, agriculture & healthy communities