Gail Hayden, Director of the California Farmers’ Markets Association (CFMA) received national recognition as Farmers’ Market Manager of the Year from the North American Farmers’ Direct Marketing Association (NAFDMA) at its Annual Banquet Friday, February 11, 2005 in Boston, Massachusetts. As a leader in the burgeoning farmers’ market industry, Gail Hayden and her husband, Doug Hayden, President, founded CFMA eleven years ago in 1994. Together they oversee 12 certified farmers’ markets in the San Francisco Bay Area grossing over $10 million annually for local family farms. A “certified” farmers’ market is a location approved by the County Agricultural Commissioner where farmers offer for sale only those fruits and vegetables they grow themselves. The markets are located in San Francisco, Mountain View, Saratoga, San Leandro, Morgan Hill, Daly City, Rossmoor in Walnut Creek, Blossom Hill and the Villages, both in San Jose.
Gail was a member of the State of California Department of Food & Agriculture’s original management team that developed the Certified Farmers’ Market system in California. During her eight-year tenure the system grew from 12 to 170 markets.
Over the span of her 25 years in the certified farmers’ market system, Gail has successfully developed and operated over 30 certified farmers’ markets in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1988, she founded the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA) and developed certified farmers’ markets in Pleasanton, Danville, Jack London Square in Oakland, Alameda, Concord and 2 sites in San Jose. In 1998, she joined Marin County Farmers’ Market Association (MCFMA) as Executive Director, developed the successful market in Oakland at Grand Lake, and restored the award-winning Marin County Farmers’ Market markets held Thursday and Sundays at the Civic Center. Under 6 years of leadership, Gail doubled sales at the MCFMA farmers’ markets to over $11million. Gail served on the State of California’s Secretary of Agriculture’s Certified Farmers’ Market Advisory Committee from 1997 to 2004.
Gail is a farmers’ market developer who focuses attention on the farmers’ success. She has analyzed producer costs and benefits to more fully ensure that the markets are serving the interests of farmers. Gail has combined this work together with her collaborative market experience and her own entrepreneurial expertise to develop presentations that help farmers’ capitalize on their participation in farmers’ markets. Her workshops on merchandising and sales techniques have helped growers significantly increase their sales at farmers’ markets.
Gail has been the featured speaker for the last three years at the NAFDMA conferences and “A Time to Grow” conference of farmers in Winchester, England. Also she has spoken to farmers’ market organizations in Ontario and Alberta, Canada, Texas, Colorado, Nevada, Wisconsin, Ohio and many other conferences throughout the United States.
Gail holds a Bachelors of Science in Agricultural Economics and Business Management from the University of California, Davis and a Masters in Business Administration from California State University, Sacramento.
For more information or conference appearance schedule contact:
Gail Hayden, Director
California Farmers’ Markets Association
3000 Citrus Circle, Suite 111
Walnut Creek, California, USA