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Starting a Farmers’ Market



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Purdue Extension EC 739 Starting a Farmers Market Christa Hofmann and Jennifer Dennis Department of Agricultural Economics Purdue University Introduction Farmers markets bring in 1 billion nationally and continue to grow Shaffer and Cox 2006 The United States Department of Agriculture lists over 19 000 farmers reporting farmers markets as their sole marketing outlet In 2004 the number of markets in Indiana grew to 77 an increase of 222 within a 10 year period Wilmont 2006 Communities interested in starting a farmers market should follow a series of steps to evaluate the feasibility of the idea for their area Three components are required to begin and operate a farmers market a location vendors and customers A series of planning meetings will help with determining a location understanding whether vendors are available in the area and evaluating customer interest Planning Meetings A series of meetings is the best way to transform the market from an idea to reality This series of meetings should involve those in the community who are essential in starting the farmers market including but not limited to growers vendors county Extension staff civic leaders consumers and potential sponsors The following sections explain the topics that participants should cover at these meetings The actual number of meetings required may vary depending upon the amount of progress made at each Meeting 1 Interest Examine Community and Farmer Interest Evaluate Market Goals This meeting should explore the possibility of establishing a farmers market as well as determine community interest from both farmers and consumers The meeting organizers should be open to suggestions and even opposition If the consensus of the meeting is positive and the group decides in favor of creating a farmers market the market s champions should begin setting realistic goals for the market including the number of potential vendors and customers and goals for sales volume in the upcoming season At this point



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