THE Ballan Farmers Market is a great example of how a small community can get behind a great idea and make it happen, according to market co-ordinator Noelene Gration. Launched in November last year, the market has been awarded the Moorabool Shire’s Australia Day Mayor’s Award for 2012. “We had about six weeks to establish a new farmers market in and it felt quite overwhelming,” Ms Gration said. “But we begin 2012 with a great example of how a small community can get behind a great idea and make it happen.”Ms Gration said getting stall holders to come was quite a challenge at first.“The first market was so successful with over 1000 people attending that now we have stall holders ringing us wanting to be a part of it,” she said.The market received seed funding from Regional Development Victoria, Moorabool Shire Council and Ballan and District Chamber of Commerce.Ballan Farmers Market committee chairman Adrian Lanigan said the award was a great privilege for the market. Moorabool shire chief executive Rob Croxford said the event contributed to the economic and social capital of Ballan.“It provides a retail outlet for local producers as well as preserves farmland and sustainable agriculture,” Mr Croxford said.“The market educates the community on the value of fresh local produce and provides social opportunities for Ballan residents.” The Ballan Farmer’s Market is held at Mill Cottage, 96 Inglis Street, Ballan, on the second Saturday of the month.