FARMER INPUT

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COLUMBIA - A group called "Friends of the Farm" hosted an event Saturday to gauge the public's interest on new changes that could soon be coming to the Columbia Farmers Market.

The group is comprised of the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department, Columbia Farmers Market and Sustainable Farms and Communities. They hope to collaborate on a project to add sweeping new additions and improvements to the site of the Columbia Farmers Market. 

The new additions include a permanent structure to cover the market, an outdoor classroom to teach children about agriculture and an agricultural park to serve the community. 

The goal of the changes, though, is to benefit more than just the market.

"We want it to serve many functions and not just the needs of the farmers market and not just the needs of the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture," said Executive Director of the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture Billy Polansky. "But the people of Columbia should see this as a community site that supports them and their families."

There is no official timetable for when construction of the new additions will begin as there is still a lot to be done in terms of raising the necessary funds. 

The event is the first of three public input events. The final two events are set for Wednesday Aug. 10 and Saturday Aug. 13. 

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