DWA picks Benedict to head farmers market

Downtown Westfield Association has appointed local resident Steve Benedict to the post of general manager for the 2013 Westfield Farmers Market.

“We are very excited to have a person with Steve’s experience take over the market” DWA Director Annie Poynter said. “His enthusiasm and management background are just what we needed to move the market forward.”

Since its inception in 2008, the market has grown every year. It is now so big that one person is needed to coordinate all the volunteer efforts and keep everybody moving forward, Poynter explained.

Because Benedict has been an active volunteer with the market for the last several years, he is the perfect choice to fill that need.

“I’ve worked with some wonderful volunteers at the market over the last few years.,” Benedict said. “The direction set the last few years by Amber Willis and Michelle Foley has been terrific.”

One of Benedict’s goals will be recruiting the best growers in Central Indiana and another will be education.

“I think we need a better balance of great local produce to go with our other vendors. We’ll be looking at reconfiguring the booth set up to help bring in more produce, enlarging and improving the kids play area, and bringing in some great entertainment,” he said. “I also really would like to put more emphasis on helping children understand that food doesn’t come from a store. I will be asking local growers to contribute their knowledge of healthy, sustainable farming and growing practices.”

Benedict said those who attend the farmers market can look forward to mini-seminars and demonstrations on healthy foods and how farm practices have changed.

Benedict is a full-time realtor with Keller Williams Realty. Before his 13-year career in real estate, he owned and operated radio stations and a newspaper in Western Montana. He also served several terms in the Montana House of Representatives and in the Montana Senate. For three years, Benedict was the Executive Director of the National Senior Pro Rodeo Association and organized a local community rodeo for 18 years.

He is a member of the membership committee of the Westfield Chamber of Commerce, and was appointed by Mayor Cook to several city boards. Benedict also works every year on the sponsorship committee for the Westfield Mayors Breakfast for Scouting. He can be reached by emailing westfieldmarket@gmail.com.