From June to October of the 2014 season, I was contracted by Turlock Certified Farmers’ Market as an intern. I had recently graduated from college and was looking for experience and funds.
I am currently in the Masters of Public Administration program at CSU Stanislaus and just returned from serving six months on active duty with the United States Army. My experience with the Turlock Certified Farmers’ Market helped prepare me for both.
At TCFM, I worked directly under market manager, Derek Griffin. He handled the practical aspects of running a farmers’ market. Every Friday morning, before the sun rose, I would pull up on my bicycle as Mr. Griffin pulled up in his truck, which was loaded with road barriers, tables, chairs, and umbrellas. After setting up the market, I would spend the rest of the day alongside Mr. Griffin.
I watched Mr. Griffin interact with vendors and citizens at the market. He answered questions from the public, assisted vendors with any issues that arose, and organized events and music. I was impressed with the way he interacted with citizens and the vendors. He was always amiable, but could be firm when necessary, especially when the safety of vendors or market-goers was in question.
I also watched Mr. Griffin in his interactions with members of the Board of Directors. These interactions were civil, productive, and often enjoyable. Mr. Griffin was able to listen to, reason with, and work alongside members of the board.
Mr. Griffin is a great market manager from whom I learned the practical facets of nonprofit administration. He taught me how to communicate effectively. I admire his passion for serving as the bridge between local producers and the public. Mr. Griffin became a good friend whom I enjoyed working with very much. The lessons I learned from watching and working with him have and will continue to serve me well as I continue my education and service to my community.
I look forward to another year of the Turlock Certified Farmers’ Market as it thrives under the care of Derek Griffin.
Go Warriors. Go Army. Go TCFM.
Simon J. Berdino