In Memory of Steve Coleman
As an organization, the West Virginia Farmers Market Association, we have a heavy heart to announce the passing of our beloved president. Steve Coleman transplanted to WV in 2009, landing on a bottom-land farm in Harrison County. The Colemans began producing and selling full-boil WV maple syrup, honey, non-GMO jams, some vegetables in season, along with an assortment of natural, hormone and antibiotic free meats. They featured pastured poultry, and have the capacity to oversee their poultry products all the way from hatch to harvest. Many of his products were sold at Clarksburg Farmers Market in Harrison County, Doddridge County Farmers Market and several other markets across the region.
Steve has served on the board of West Virginia Farmers Market Association for several years, serving as both VP and President, as well as representing our member’s interests in the area of policy development. His work with the WVFMA began in 2013 during the 9th Annual Small Farms Conference in Charleston, WV when he became a board member. He was elected Board President and Chairman in 2014 during the 10th Annual Small Farms Conference.
During his time with the organization Steve was instrumental in getting the statewide farmers market vendor permit passed that now allows vendors to cross county lines and eliminate the need for multiple permits and fees for those farmers who sell in several counties. He appeared before legislative committees and was able to alleviate some of the legislators’ and DHHR fears regarding food safety. Steve was one of the major producers most impacted by this change. There was a time when he was required to get and/or pay for at least 11 different permits to be able to sell in multiple WV counties. It was a bill that is beneficial to all WV producers. This is one of many examples of his dedication to the communities of West Virginia.
In his own words, Steve Coleman believed in, “Doing right for West Virginia and helping farmers do right by offering education about returning nutrients to the soil, adopting recycle/reuse methods and self-regulating quality.” He also spoke about, “educating markets to avoid the “big ag” risk taking that endangers consumer’s health and places the national food supply at risk.” Steve was also vocal about his beliefs and expressed that he wanted to see “West Virginia agriculture moving forward.” He hoped that the West Virginia Farmers Market Association could help to “meet the demands of the 21st century consumer.”
Steve will never be forgotten for his commitment to our mission to our farmers markets in West Virginia. Thank you, Steve, you will be missed.
We are farmers markets, on-farm markets, market managers, farmers, and consumers.
The mission of the WVFMA is to provide resources and support connections that enhance the economic growth and sustainability of West Virginia farmers markets.
We aim to strengthen viability of farmers markets across the state through our activities, such as meetings, surveys, trainings, development of resources and policy work. Cooperation is fostered among members in solving problems related to the production and marketing of farm products and improvement in marketing activities. The Association is a membership-based organization supported in part by both membership fees and grant dollars.
Benefits to Our Members
Member markets receive our monthly newsletter, get discounts for training opportunities and conferences sponsored by the WVFMA, access to grant opportunities, have access to staff and board members for advice and information, have voting privileges in electing WVFMA board members and a voice in farmers market policy in West Virginia!
Parween Mascari, Executive Director
West Virginia Farmers Market Association
4700 MacCorkle Avenue SE
Charleston, WV 25304