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Farmer"s Market Helps Students Pay For School
Ever heard of a college with a student-operated farmer’s market?

College of the Ozarks, located in Point Lookout, Mo., is different than most schools. It gives students the opportunity to graduate debt-free by working off their tuition at various work stations around the campus that range from landscaping to clerical to processing milk at the on-campus dairy. The school’s farmer’s market team is composed of six students during the summer and eight in the fall, along with their supervisor, Eric Bright. “We’ve had really positive feedback, and it’s good public relations for the college,” says Bright of the student-run market.

    The farmer’s market is held on Fridays. All the products sold are student raised, grown or made. The proceeds from the market go back into the college’s general fund to support the college’s debt-free mission. Garden duties are shared between the landscaping department and the farmer’s market workers. Everything from peppers to cucumbers to green beans grace the tables at the market. Green beans have been the number one summer seller at the market, with tomatoes coming in a close second. All the meats and dairy products come from animals that are raised and/or processed by the school’s agriculture department. “Meats sell very well, too,” Bright says. Other products include potted plants from the campus greenhouse; homemade fruitcakes, jams and jellies from the Fruitcake and Jelly Kitchen; and handmade baskets and rugs from the student crafters at Edwards Mill.

    Thursdays are for harvest and set-up. The students harvest, wash and grade produce from the garden. Then they set up the tables, display stations, registers and scales inside the College of the Ozarks sale barn. The indoor facility allows students to hold the market even during bad weather. Meetings are held before and after market day to talk about marketing and customer relations.

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2014 - Volume #38, Issue #1