Farmers' Markets

Farmers' markets have grown in popularity in recent years. The term farmers' market describes an organized market where farmers and others come to sell directly to consumers. They provide farmers an easy way to sell food and other products directly to consumers without involving a middle man. Direct markets are often community based and organized by communities, growers, civic organizations, community service organizations, extension and other groups.

An Electronic Budgeting Tool is available to help you compare the returns from selling your produce through a farmers’ market or another direct marketing outlet.

For more information on this topic, see the links listed below of articles posted on related Web sites.

Understanding Farmers' Markets
  • Farmers' Markets Rules, Regulations and Opportunities – The National Agricultural Law Center -- This study examines the structure and operation of farmers' markets in the United States, giving special attention to the legal and regulatory issues that may shape their operation.
  • Establishing and Operating a Community Farmers’ Market – University of Kentucky Extension -- Community leaders are realizing the economic opportunities and rewards of farmers’ markets in the realm of community (metro and non-metro) development.
  • Starting a Farmers' Market – University of Florida Extension -- Many details separate great farmers' markets from struggling or mediocre markets.
  • Starting a New Farmer's Market – Small Farm Center, University of California Extension -- First, the produce must be fresh! High quality is essential to keeping the market attractive to weekly customers. Commodities are best when picked the day of the sale. Customers like to see carrots with the tops on and melons that are fully ripe.
  • Farmers' Market Facts – Ag Marketing Service (AMS), USDA -- Farmers' markets, now an integral part in the urban/farm linkage, have continued to rise in popularity, mostly due to the growing consumer interest in obtaining fresh products directly from the farm.
  • Selling Fresh Fruit at Farmers’ Markets – Small Farm Center, University of California Extension -- There is a good demand for real tree-ripened fruit. The demand is small in the total picture but growing (in niche markets). Farmers' markets present a good opportunity for a small grower. There are some advantages and disadvantages to this kind of marketing.
  • Food Safety for Farmer’s Market Venders – University of Nebraska -- Vendors at farmers' markets are responsible for the safety of the products they offer for sale.
  • Farmers' Markets Marketing and Business Guide Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA), NCAT -- This publication is a resource for those who want to organize a farmers' market or sell directly to the consumer at one. 
  • A Guide to Starting, Operating, and Selling in Farmers' Markets Arizona State University -- A direct farm marketing and tourism handbook.
  • Farmers' Market Guide – University of Missouri -- A charge publication based on the experiences of the organizers of farmers' markets.
  • The New Farmer's Market: Farm-Fresh Ideas for Producers, Managers and Communities -- A book for purchase.
Farmers' Market Resources

Links checked July 2014.