Operating a farmers market is one of the toughest jobs in America! It requires a multitude of skills that are not intuitive to all people and there is relatively little education available to get the needed training. Being a member of the WSFMA can help! We strive to provide many valuable resources to help our Member Markets (and their dedicated managers) succeed. We hope you find the tools on this page valuable. Please let us know what additional information would assist you in this arduous, yet rewarding, journey.
Rapid Market Assessment Resources
The WSFMA conducted Rapid Market Assessments (RMA) at several member markets in 2008 and 2009, as a result of a specialty crop grant provided by the Washington State Department of Agriculture. We have supplies and trained support for your market to conduct this useful customer survey. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about conducting an RMA at your farmers market.
Tools for Rapid Market Assessments (Updated)- Oregon Small Farms Technical Report - OSU [pdf 802 KB]
Examples below are from RMAs conducted during 2008 and 2009:
Gig Harbor RMA
Key Peninsula RMA
Affordable Product Liability Insurance
We now have a resource for very affordable product liability insurance through Campbell Risk Management. (click on the Farm Market Vendors tab).
Business Planning for Farmers Markets
by Kirsten C. Workman, presented at the 2009 WSFMA Conference
PDF download in color [1.23 MB] or downlod in black/white [855 KB]
FMC Farmers Market Manager FAQs
Download the FAQ document from the Farmers Market Coalition website
City of Seattle - Changes in Farmers Market Permitting Process
Farmers market permitting costs will be dramatically reduced under a new farmers market ordinance recently approved by the Seattle City Council. The ordinance, spearheaded by the Office of Economic Development with collaboration from other city departments, will reduce fees for street closures and used of parks as well as streamline the permit application process.
Farmers Market Technology Project Grants
Below are links to documents with information to help you learn more about the WSU Farmers Market Wireless Technology Project. This project is being funded by the WA State Dept. of Agriculture through the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.
Farmers markets provide an increasingly important, high-value sales venue for specialty and sustainable crops grown in WA State. Developing the technological capacity of WA farmers markets by allowing shoppers to pay with credit/debit cards or use SNAP (food stamp) benefits could maximize sales volumes and expand access to fresh market specialty crops for far greater numbers of consumers. Using the data collected by market managers at each market, this project will allow WSU to evaluate the overall economic impact to specialty crop growers selling at markets with credit/debit/SNAP (food stamp) machines.
Specialty crops are defined as “fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).” Eligible plants must be intensively cultivated and used by people for food, medicinal purposes, and/or aesthetic gratification to be considered specialty crops. Meat, dairy, poultry, fish and fiber, as well as commodities (grains, etc.) are NOT Specialty Crops.
If your market participates in this program, you will receive:
- a wireless device set up to accept credit/debit/SNAP food stamp cards,
- wooden tokens,
- signage and materials, and
- consulting services to help set up the program.
Application Final Deadline: February 18, 2011 (postmarked on or before).
Grant recipients notified in writing no later than: February 28, 2011.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact:
Rita Ordóñez, Coordinator
WSU Farmers Market Wireless Technology Project
Market Application Form
Sample Board Resolution
Sample Vendor agreement forms
Example of a monthly statement of fees from ePaymentAmerica
Break even example that shows Sample processing fees for a 20 week market
Historic documents from the 2010 Pilot Project:
2010 Farmers Market Technology Pilot Project summary
More information on the original EBT Technology grant
Pending Grant Proposals
The WSFMA board members and E.D. have two grant proposals waiting approval for the fiscal year of 2010. We have received inquiries for greater information from both proposals and are upbeat that we will receive funding from these sources. The monies would go toward conference expenses, more education and outreach for our member markets (webinars and more regional trainings) and for WSFMA personnel. The grants we have applied for are:
- 2010 Specialty Crop Block Grant (the WSFMA proposal was evaluated and approved by the WSDA and has been forwarded to the USDA. We are now waiting final approval.)
- 2010/2011 USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program Grant (The USDA contacted the WSFMA in August of 2010 and requested more information…a good sign! We receive final notification on September 20, 2010)
Sites Related to Farmers Markets
California Federation of
Certified Farmers Markets
Cascade Harvest Coalition
Farmers Market Coalition
Markets Today magazine
Maine Federation of Farmers Markets
Puget Sound Fresh
- King County Agriculture Commission
Seattle Tilth CSA Directory
USDA National Farmers
Vendor's Scales at Farmers Markets
Wallace Center Recruiters Guides and Farmers Guide
Washington State Department of
Washington State Farmers Market Manual [pdf 2.7 MB]
Washington State Grange
Farm & Direct Marketing Program
Other Interesting Websites
Cascade Loop Scenic Highway