• 57°

Farmers Market manager, executive director for Bread Riot hired

By Deirdre Parker Smith

deirdre.smith@salisburypost.com

Eric Bowen has been hired as the first executive director for Bread Riot and will also manage the Salisbury Farmers Market.

The search attracted a lot of qualified candidates, said Capri Brixey, outgoing president of Bread Riot. “We were very appreciative so many people were interested.”

While they were expecting a lot of local applicants, Bread Riot received queries from all over the state.

Bowen, of Durham, a 2007 graduate of N.C. State University, has a degree in natural resources with a minor in agroecology. He received his master’s in ecology from Colorado State University in 2013 and founded goMarketNC, an online farmers’ market.

After graduating, Bowen went on to farm, teach and do research as an apprentice at the Center of Environmental Farming Systems. He also worked on farms and taught while in Colorado. He took a break from school in 2011 and worked at a nonprofit educational farm in Athens, Ga.

Danelle Cutting, horticulture and local foods agent with Rowan County Cooperative Extension, was in on the interviews.

“He comes with creative ideas. … He already has Extension background with Center for Environmental Farming systems, it’s a combination of Extension and the Department of Agriculture.”

Cutting said Bowen has a background in local foods. “I think he’ll be a strong advocate for the Farmers Market. He seems like a go-getter. He’s the one we kept going back to.”

Cutting said Bowen’s experience with web sites and social media is a plus. She plans to take him to visit the farmers who take part in the market.

“He did his research. He seems knowledgeable about our area.”

Brixey said Bowen will move here sometime after the holidays.

Bread Riot is a group which works with local farmers and producers to provide local food to local consumers. There are no membership fees, but many programs, such as Riot in the Pasture, and bulk meat purchases. They participate in what is known as Community-Supported Agriculture, working with farmers and consumers to match demand and supply. Farmers know they have a certain number of customers and what those customers want.

Bowen said he heard about Bread Riot on a listserv for local food advocates. Amy Hoffner Poirer, the incoming Bread Riot president, was advertising the Winter Harvest, “which is very similar to what I did at goMarketNC. … I then read about Bread Riot’s programs and jumped at the opportunity to work with an organization a few years ahead of me.

“Bread Riot has a solid base of volunteers and financial support that just isn’t possible in the for-profit world.

“I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to build on that foundation and help many more farmers and eaters share local, sustainable food.”

He also likes Salisbury for its history, and its proximity to his hometown of Hickory, “and perhaps that I grew up drinking absurd quantities of Cheerwine.”

Salisbury Farmers Market’s last day was Saturday, Dec. 20. Harry Agner is retiring as its manager after 13 years with the market. Bowen will take over management in the spring when the market reopens, in addition to his duties with Bread Riot.

Comments

Elections

Tell us your opinion about the first presidential debate

Education

Kannapolis elementary students will return to full, in-person classes Nov. 2

Coronavirus

10 deaths now reported at Liberty Commons nursing home

Education

Rowan-Salisbury School Board will provide money to help athletics restart

Crime

Blotter: Charlotte teen cited with marijuana possession during traffic stop

Local

Rowan-Salisbury Schools receives $26.3 million grant to accelerate renewal

Local

Child injured after running behind father’s truck

Crime

Police identify man who took them on high-speed chase, crashed into lumber truck

China Grove

Reaper’s Realm owners promise beefed-up security after weekend shooting

Business

Contractor expands local footprint, takes on county’s coronavirus projects

News

Home Improvement: Holiday gifts to spark home improvement ideas

Elections

Political Notebook: Local parties will host watch parties for presidential debate

Crime

China Grove man cited for driving through school field

BREAKING NEWS

October closure hearings set for Faith, Enochville elementary schools

Crime

Police say man gave false name after high speed chase, crashing into lumber truck

Coronavirus

Nearly 400 cases considered currently active in the county

Education

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College creates free course to help parents tackle virtual learning

Business

New unemployment claims down in August, could indicate positive trend for businesses

Crime

Salisbury man faces drug possession charges after overdose call

Crime

Police: Man charged after children call 911 from neighbor’s house

Ask Us

Ask Us: Who are people behind sign at City Park playground?

Coronavirus

Prison in Salisbury latest site of COVID-19 outbreak

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury Man charged with felony assault by strangulation

Nation/World

Trump vows quick Supreme Court vote, Biden urges delay for Nov. 3