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FRIDAY, MAY 3, 2013

CONTACT: Ron Moore, assistant director
NCDA&CS Marketing Division

New manager picked for Charlotte Farmers Market

CHARLOTTE – Fred Cole was recently hired as the new manager at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market, one of four markets operated by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services across the state. Cole replaces Arlene Haigler, who has been serving as acting manager since 2012, when long-time manager Frank Suddreth retired.

Before coming to Charlotte, Cole, 61, was the general manager of Capital District Cooperative Inc., a farmers market in Menands, N.Y. He was responsible for increasing the number of vendors at the market, growing the market occupancy rate from 70 percent to 100 percent. In addition, he oversaw enhancement and building renovation projects on the 28-acre market grounds that increased retail traffic and improved food safety.

“Fred Cole brings a wealth of experience working with farmers and community leaders to this job,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “That will serve him well as the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market improves to meet the changing needs of the state’s largest city.”

Cole earned a business administration degree from Schenectady Community College. He also served in many community and industry groups, including as a board member of the National Association of Produce Market Managers, a member of the Albany-Colonie Chamber of Commerce, president of the Hudson Shores Rotary Club, and a volunteer with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, New York Special Olympics, American Heart Association and The Regional Food Bank.

He and his wife Susan have three adult children kids.

Cole comes on board as the market is beginning to shift into high gear.

Strawberries are already available from several vendors at the market. There also is an array of apples, asparagus, lettuce and other locally grown produce. Visitors can also find a large selection of cut flowers, spring perennials, hanging baskets and gardening plants, as well as specialty foods, baked goods and crafts.

The market will host several special events in May. On May 4, the Master Gardeners of Mecklenburg County will hold its spring plant sale from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Proceeds from the sales will support community gardening and education programs. Master gardeners also will be on hand to answer gardening questions Saturday and May 25.

The farmers market will host its annual Strawberry Day May 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visitors will find  free recipes and tips for picking and storing strawberries, and a large selection of berries for purchase.

The Charlotte Regional Farmers Market is located at 1801 Yorkmont Road. The market is open Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 12:30 to 6 p.m. More information is available at



NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Brian Long, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3001; FAX: (919) 733-5047

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Steve Troxler, Commissioner of Agriculture

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