We Are Agriculture is a year-long series that will highlight the hard-work done by employees across the Department of Agriculture. Amie Newsome, Market Manager of the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market, is one of those employees. Stay tuned each Wednesday here on the blog or any of our social media accounts and join us in honoring those who continue to drive our state’s agriculture industry forward each day!
Many colleges across the state inspire young people to pursue a career in agriculture and create an atmosphere that not only helps them explore the opportunities available to them, but also helps them fall in love with the industry, including N.C. State University in Raleigh. Amie Newsome, Market Manager at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market, grew up surrounded by agriculture, with both of her parents working on farms, but never truly fell in love until her college years. “I was always interested in agriculture, but I truly fell in love and knew I wanted to seek a career here after taking my first horticulture class at NCSU,” she said. “I grew up with a passion for agriculture, but I gained a real appreciation for it in college.”
Seven years ago, Amie started her job with the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market and has loved all of the opportunities it has given her to explore various sectors of the agriculture industry. “This job has allowed me to meet a lot of hard-working and dedicated people, from the staff here at the market to our farmers and vendors on-site,” she said. Currently the market is home to over 160 vendors that rotate throughout the year based on season and product availability! “This market presents a great representation of the state of North Carolina due to its high variability of products,” Amie said. “On any given day we have seafood, flowers, produce, crafters and more available that are all from local vendors who work hard to produce these products for members of the community to love and enjoy.”
Busy season at the market typically falls between April and October, which means that Amie and her staff are highly focused on vendor needs during that time. January through March consists of new vendor interviews. The market is a daily renter, so vendors can choose to exhibit their products at the market for as long as they need to. As the market manager, Amie’s job responsibilities tend to vary from day to day, but often include social media management, vendor applications, vendor set-up, grounds management, supervision of community service members at the market and networking with vendors and other members of the agricultural community. “It really makes you proud to see vendors start out at the market and expand until they eventually need more space,” she said. “We get to see children grow up at the market and slowly take over the family business. We see farmers build partnerships and connections that take them to the next level. The market is truly a landing zone as well as a platform for people in this industry to grow, build relationships and market their products. It makes me very proud to be a part of it all.”
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Amie and her team at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market worked very hard to ensure safety was a top priority for vendors and customers alike while keeping the market open to the community. “We were honored to receive two awards during this time period for our efforts,” Amie said. “The NCDA&CS awarded us a Team Safety Award for keeping the market open and safe throughout the pandemic, and then we also received an Excellence in Safety award, which recognized the whole staff here at the market for their hard-work, dedication and efforts to keep this operation open and running during a time that the public needed it the most.”
Although sometimes dealing with the public can have its challenges, Amie wouldn’t trade anything in the world for the joy she feels each day in networking with the farmers and vendors at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market. “I love interacting with vendors and hearing their stories,” she said. “It’s incredible to learn what made them so passionate about agriculture or their craft in the first place and then to see what continues to drive them day in and day out to be better and keep providing for the community. The agriculture industry of North Carolina truly is full of the most dedicated and passionate individuals, and I am honored to be one of them.”
When she is not at work, Amie enjoys spending time with her twin sister and 15-year-old niece. They even enjoy confusing vendors at the market from time to time by switching out to see if anyone can tell them apart. Join us in thanking Amie for all of her work promoting agriculture at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market!