Fauquier County 4-H and the local farmers markets are teaming up to help young entrepreneurs grow. Thirty-six youth have participated in the 4-H Next Generation Entrepreneurs Program where they learn how to build a business and sell their products at local farmers markets. This year’s participants are selling baked goods, crafts, cut flowers, vegetables, and eggs. You can find them at the Warrenton Farmers Market on the first Saturday of each month from May – October and at some of the other local farmers markets throughout the season as well.
Before they become vendors, youth first participate in a series of educational activities where they learn how to do market research, prepare and label food safely, market their products, and create a business plan. Meanwhile, they are also honing valuable life skills such as goal setting, planning, record keeping, and reflection. Ten-year old Kaylee Watts says that she is most excited about selling her vanilla cake pops, because they are “a portable piece of cake goodness on a stick.” Nine-year old River Maloney who is selling garden accessories, cookies, and artwork said, “I’ve learned that starting a business is really hard work. It takes a lot of time, money, creativity and stuff.” Five of this year’s vendors sold at markets last year and are improving on lessons learned last year. One sunflower vendor said that he is planting fewer varieties of sunflowers this year after learning which ones were best for cut flowers and sold the best last year.
Those that would like to purchase goods from these young entrepreneurs are encouraged to bring cash.