courtesy photo/Go Farm Farmers Marketcourtesy photo/Secret Springs Farms

Farmers Market Fosters Young Entrepreneurs

The “Go Farm” farmers’ market is the visible arm of Ozark Farmers Agricultural Cooperative, a nonprofit whose mission is to address the Ozarks food desert. The market is held twice a week in the parking lot of Endurance Church in West Plains, and this summer young entrepreneurs are making the most of the marketplace. Many of the kids are children of the adult vendors. Some help out with the family business, but an encouraging number of these youngsters are in business for themselves earning money with their skill and ingenuity. 
Boris Belinskiy, 14, is a young baker who is only present at the market on Wednesdays. He makes and sells Russian honey cakes, chocolate chip cookies, dog treats, bread, and Russian walnuts. 
Silas Stevens, 13, is the owner and operator of Home Run Hot Dogs.
Samantha Smolnik, 15, helps her dad with his mushroom farm operation and runs his produce stand at market. “They are really busy and she helps a lot,” says market manager Patrice Jennings.
Faith Montalvo, 16, plays the guitar at the market with a tip jar to save money for a car. Her parents own Rustic Waters Homestead, and Faith makes their sourdough chocolate chip cookies and helps milk the goats to make goat milk fudge and other goat products. 
Conner Crowder, 11, helps with the family cattle farm, Sgt. Dan's Redneck Cattle Co out of Myrtle. He also runs the stand for Three Oaks Farm on behalf of Patrice and Craig Jennings. He earns a percentage of all sales, and is also saving for a car. His sister Emma, helps with the burgers that their parents, Dan and Crystal, cook up for customers and vendors. 
Matt Hickey, 14, helps his family with their booth for Secret Springs Farms, but also makes scratch hamburger buns to order. His buns are featured with the hamburgers sold at Sgt. Dan’s Redneck Cattle at the market every Saturday. 
Rileigh Dennis, 17, works her stand with a friend and gets the meats and produce for Morning Sun Farms. They have been with the market for years but have taken over for Rileigh’s grandpa, Larry. She has been in the cattle and produce business most of her life.
Last but not least is Madilyn Smith, 12, who makes her own slime and other crafts at her booth, Slime Smith.
You can usually find these young folks working hard at the market Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market also operates on Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Howell County News

110 W. Main St.,
Willow Springs, MO 65793

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