New Director at Nashville Farmers' Market

After operating for more than a year without an official director, Tasha Kennard is the new director of the Nashville Farmers' Market. Kennard was previously the vice president of marketing and communication for Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, and brings her strategic planning and marketing skills to the market.

First on the list is to reintroduce the Nashville community to -- in the words of Mayor Karl Dean -- "one of the city's gems."

The market will have a grand reopening with the season's first "Night Market" on Friday, May 16. Night Market will kick off a weekend of activities, featuring fresh produce, meats, dairy, flowers, crafters, kid's games and workshops, cooking demonstrations, sessions on food culture, and more.

"I want those who are unfamiliar with or don't have high expectations for the market to come and experience the transformation of the Nashville Farmers' Market," says Kennard. "I want the market to excite and inspire our visitors about local food and artisans and become a premier destination for local residents and visitors alike. I want to strengthen access to fresh, local produce while providing diverse dining options and educational food and cooking workshops to the community."

Prior to joining the Nashville Farmers' Market, Kennard's duties at Second Harvest included developing awareness and fundraising campaigns that helped increase revenues, develop a successful volunteer services program, and initiate the launch of Together We Grow, a children's container garden and nutrition program, impacting at-risk youth in Davidson County. She had been with Second Harvest since 2008, including three years in the vice president's position. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Middle Tennessee State University.

Also on the to-do list is to collaborate with Second Harvest to help create access to low-income communities via a variety of programs, including gleaning, workshops to shop smarter, and a weekly senior bus to the market.