Monday, July 9, 2007

Market Sponsorship

Many farmers’ markets are developed by county extension staff or the local government. Problems such as site location and zoning are minimized when cooperation from the local government and vendors are made.

When planning a new farmers’ market there are community groups and individuals that should be involved and contacted about the planning of the market:

Who Should be Involved?

  • County or city officials (Site, funding, policing, staffing)
  • County Extension staff (Technical information, leadership)
  • Area development district staff (Funding applications, coordination)
  • Planning, zoning, building code officials (Facilities development)
  • Utility representatives (Water, electricity, sewer, garbage)
  • Highway department or city street department officials (Entrances, traffic)
  • Police representatives (Security, traffic)
  • Fire marshall's office (Fire safety)
  • Soil Conservation Service (Site considerations)
  • Civic clubs and churches (Support, funding)
  • Banks (Operating loans, support)
  • Agricultural organizations like 4-H, FFA (Support, funding)
  • Local farmer co-ops or other ag suppliers (Materials at reduced cost)
  • Community Action Programs (Support through anti-poverty programs)
  • Local health department (Health code considerations)
  • Missouri State Department of Agriculture (Promotion, regulations, facilities)
  • Local produce dealers and supermarket representatives (Market coordination, goodwill, technical help)
  • High school vocational agriculture teacher (Educational help)
  • Private groups involved in local market development (Assistance, support, promotion)
Be sure to consider contacting civic clubs and businesses for potential sponsorship of the market. Sometimes a city or even the county will provide facilities for the market.

Having cooperation from the city and support from the community is key to starting a successful farmers’ market. This means working with local governments, county extension staff, several local civic clubs, local banks, agricultural organizations, local fairgrounds, producer cooperatives and looking for grant opportunities to help start a new market.

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