Tickets are now on sale for the Ruston Farmers Market 15th Anniversary Dinner, which will be held on September 21, 2023, 6 – 9 p.m., at the RFM building at 220 E. Mississippi Ave. This event celebrates 15 years of the Ruston Farmers Market and the founders, vendors, volunteers, and customers who have helped it grow and thrive. The event is open to the public.
There are two types of tickets, both of which are on sale at http://www.rustonfarmersmarket.org. VIP tickets allow for early entry (6 – 7:30 p.m.) and feature a seated dinner with wine pairings catered by Desi Bourgeois, valet parking, and a VIP gift, for a price of $125 per ticket. A limited number of VIP tickets will be sold. General admission tickets ($40) allow entry beginning at 7:30 p.m. and include a free drink, charcuterie tables, and a cash bar. The event features live music by Mixed Notes and a silent auction.
The Ruston Farmers Market has emerged as a premier destination in Ruston and operates one of the only state farmers markets which features only Louisiana grown and produced products. It first opened through the work of a handful of volunteers in May of 2008 in the public parking lot at the corner of Railroad Avenue and South Monroe.
In 2010, RFM volunteers incorporated North Louisiana Farm Fresh Inc. (NLFF) in Louisiana and a board was formed from volunteers, vendors, health professionals, and other interested individuals. NLFF then received 501(c)3 status as a nonprofit in 2014. The Ruston Farmers Market moved into its current covered space in 2016, and in 2020 operated its first year-round market. The market continues to operate year-round, with typical annual sales of $350,000.
During its 15 years in operation, the market has had great impact on the community. In addition to taking SNAP for purchase, since 2015, it has doubled SNAP dollars on the first Saturday of each month, due to a generous donation from the Lincoln Health Foundation. Louisiana Tech University School of Design mural classes painted the building’s external mural in 2016 and its internal mural in 2021.
The market regularly hosts local musicians on Saturday mornings, who are supported by a grant from The Martin Foundation. Jonesboro State Bank’s generous Pledge 10 grant gave the market its children’s play area and a weekly Youth Booth for young vendors. Finally, multiple brick and mortar business got their start with a vendor booth at the market.
Mission Statement: Ruston Farmers Market is a program of North Louisiana Farm Fresh (NLFF), a 501(c)3 nonprofit. The mission of NLFF is to provide direct producer to consumer sales opportunities, support the development of a local food network, and conduct educational outreach of sustainable agriculture, health, and nutrition throughout North Louisiana.