05 July 2012

COUNTRY and PFM – GROWing Community

A message from our sponsor, COUNTRY Financial

What do you think of when you head to a Portland Farmers Market? That’s easy – all the fresh food tantalizingly displayed in booth after booth by local growers.

But look beyond the marvelous mushrooms, succulent squash and tasty tomatoes. You’ll see a thriving community of vendors and shoppers that ensure local economic success, courtesy of PFM and season sponsor COUNTRY Financial.

Our partnership aims to GROW the community through its Goods, Relationships, Organizational integrity and Well-being.

The goods get delivered to the markets nearly year-round through PFM guidance to vendors. Nearly 250 growers supply the local community with the freshest food on the planet. COUNTRY fully understands the hard work behind the goods. We were founded by farmers in 1925 and continue to help growers protect their operations.

Relationships form the roots of success for the eight PFM markets. Together, PFM and COUNTRY work closely with vendors and community leaders to assure shoppers a world-class experience with every visit.

COUNTRY’s Tim Harris with bag design winner Claire Floyd-Lapp

Those experiences include the recent Reusable Bag Design Contest in which Grant High School sophomore Claire Floyd-Lapp won a $1,000 scholarship from COUNTRY. Thanks to Claire and a successful, two-year relationship with Portland Public Schools, shoppers can pick up an award-winning bag at the markets and fill up on fresh.

Mark July 16 on your calendar for another unique PFM experience. A budding relationship with local chefs forged by COUNTRY and PFM last year will blossom into the second Chef Challenge at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Three chefs will shop the market and spend 30 minutes transforming fresh produce into delectable dishes you can re-create at home.

Organizational integrity – call it financial strength if you will – further allows PFM and COUNTRY to contribute to the community bottom line. PFM maintains a stable base of financial support through vendor fees, an annual fundraiser, and of course, sponsors like COUNTRY.

In turn, COUNTRY embraces PFM’s nod to financial security. Independent industry rating agency, A.M. Best, ranks COUNTRY A+ (Superior). COUNTRY occupies No. 645 on the Fortune 1000 list.

Well-being ranks last but not least in GROWing a community. PFM provides wholesomeness in the form of nutritious food, vendor financial success, and shopper engagement and education. That translates into a vibrant community.

COUNTRY embraces that mission not only with its market support, but also through its vision to help families and individuals become financially secure. Thirty-four COUNTRY financial representatives live, work and grow alongside Portland area residents, attend to their well-being through every stage of their lives.

That’s what it takes to build a GROWing community. And PFM and COUNTRY are up to the task. You have a role to play, too. Head to your nearest PFM location to check out the goods, build relationships, contribute to financial strength of the community and enhance your own well-being!