Q&A with Rosy Bromell

Saturday offers an opportunity for area residents to visit the Ruston Farmers Market, located at 220 E. Mississippi Ave., and Rosy Bromell, RFM president, discussed various ways Lincoln Parish’s farmers marekt continues to serve the community. 

Why is it so important for residents to support the local farmer’s market? 
Louisiana residents can benefit from fresh, locally sourced, Louisiana grown or raised food.  Many of our vendors are small business owners in our community.  By spending money on their products, they then reinvest that by shopping in our community.  The more traffic we get at the market, the more vendors will want to become part of the selling at the market.  Also, the market provides an important family-friendly community activity that helps make our city a more attractive location. 

Why did you decide to get involved in volunteering? 
Our former president and current secretary, Marcia Dickerson said, “I’ve shopped at RFM since it started, and I would be so disappointed if it weren’t a part of my weekly routine. So, it was important to me to help sustain and grow the market by giving my time and energy to it.”  

I have always volunteered in one way or another.  I grew up in a farming family on a dairy in Keithville.  We were taught at a young age to be involved and to give back. There are now four generations of my family who have been involved in 4-H, especially the livestock programs. I started going to the farmers market when it was behind First Baptist Church, but I only got involved with the Board in the last few years.  

As you can see, our board members are dedicated to a healthy, year-round Saturday market. 

What are some highlights of RFM, besides purchasing food from area farmers? 
We are working to build a teaching kitchen.  We know this will benefit different segments of our community.  We love seeing the “community” built around the Saturday market.  People visiting with each other and enjoying the energy.  Children enjoy the NCLAC art table and other activities. 

As the Power and Water District expands, do you hope RFM will be able to expand as well? 
We do hope to expand and are always interested in expanding the number of vendors and our offerings. There will be people living right next door to the market building. We hope and feel like they will want to purchase a portion of their food at RFM. Perhaps the restaurant planned in the building will come to the market for produce, meat, eggs, etc.  

What’s coming up this weekend at RFM that you’re interested in? 
Sweet potatoes are in season again!  And because Louisiana has two growing seasons, we are beginning to see many more fresh vegetables at the market again.  The Ruston Garden Club will be selling three varieties of daffodil bulbs. 

What else would you like to add? 
On the first market of the month, we offer double SNAP benefits.  Also, SNAP cards can be used for meals consumed on the premises.  This is an expansion because of the power outages and displacement due to the hurricane.    

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