Welcome to the Farmers Market Coalition Resource Library, an ever-growing database of resources for farmers, market managers and researchers. These resources were developed by a wide spectrum of organizations, agencies, and academic institutions, and we are grateful for the spirit of sharing which allows us to bring a variety of tools to your table in one searchable portal. We hope you find them useful and consider submitting resources of your own for the benefit of the farmers market community.
Browse by Category
- Boards, Mission, and Governance (28)
- Farm Business and Marketing (29)
- Farm Inspection and Enforcement (27)
- Food Safety and Handling (18)
- Funding and Grants (16)
- Insurance, Liability, and Licensing (21)
- Management and Operations (86)
- Market Start-up and Development (39)
- Other (2)
- Promotion, Outreach, and Special Events (33)
- Public Policies (21)
- Rules and Vendor Applications (24)
- SNAP/EBT and Nutrition Programs (59)
- State Association Development (9)
- Surveys, Evaluation, and Research (62)
- Vendor Fees and Market Finances (13)
Kiva.org is a non-profit based in San Francisco, which crowdfunds 0% interest microloans to small business owners, entrepreneurs and farmers throughout the United States (and the wider world). Since 2005, Kiva has funded over $850M in loans, crowdfunded by 1.5 million individual lenders.
Kiva’s U.S. lending program is highly focused on the Food and Farm sector, and could be a valuable resource — either for Farmers and Food Producers, or Farmers Markets themselves. Kiva’s loans are up to $10,000, paid back over 3 years. And they really do have no interest and no fees!
The best part of the Kiva model is the community-based approach. Rather than the loan coming from an impersonal financial institution, a $10,000 loan might be crowdfunded by 400 individual people lending $25 each. That’s 400 potential customers, business advisors, brand ambassadors and supporters.
Farmers markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) operations are great places for customers interested in locally sourced products to find and purchase organic products. Many of these consumers appreciate knowing how and where the products that they purchase were grown, and the organic cer ca on status of the farmers.
Farmers and vendors who use the word “organic” to describe their products or prac ces in the marketplace must comply with the USDA organic regulations. The Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) states that no person may affix a label to, or provide other marketing information concerning, an agricultural product if that label or information implies, directly or indirectly, that such product is produced and handled using organic methods, except in accordance with the OFPA.
Most farms and business that grow, handle, or process organic products must be certified. The only exception is for producers and handlers that sell less than $5,000 per year of organic products. These operations may choose to obtain certification but they are not required to do so. If you are uncertain if you need to be certified, see NOP’s brochure “Do I Need to Be Certified Organic?”
As we take time this week to honor America’s veterans, we are also thinking about how we can improve the health and welfare of military communities across the country. That’s why we are so proud to release the first-ever Guide for Farmers Markets on Military Installations. By assisting military installations in establishing farmers markets, the guide will help increase access to fresh, local food for soldiers on military installations. On-base farmers markets also connect members of the military with their surrounding communities and offer family-friendly gathering places where children can learn where their food comes from.
In a truly collaborative effort, my agency, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), created this detailed manual with the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) Healthy Base Initiative (HBI), and in partnership with Wholesome Wave. It explains how commanders can establish and successfully operate farmers markets on military installations.
The guide is filled with effective strategies to bring the benefits of farmers markets to service members and their families stationed at installations across the country. It also highlights success stories, showcasing existing farmers markets on military installations in Fort Bragg, NC; Fort Meade, MD; Fort Belvoir, VA; Camp Lejuene, NC; and Quantico, VA.
We know that farmers markets play an important role in communities and in American agriculture. Today, more than 8,400 farmers markets are at the heart of towns and cities throughout the nation. Farmers markets bring people together, putting customers face-to-face with the farmers and ranchers who produce fresh, local foods, while also creating jobs and marketing opportunities for these producers.
That’s why supporting farmers markets is a key part of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s commitment to strengthening local food systems, which he identified as one of four pillars of the Department’s efforts to revitalize rural economies. The Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative coordinates the department’s policy, resources and outreach efforts related to local and regional food systems. At AMS, we have a long history of supporting local and regional food systems, such as farmers markets, through grants, research, technical assistance and market information.
We’re honored to have worked with the DoD and Wholesome Wave on this new guide, and we look forward to helping service members, their families and their communities enjoy the benefits of farmers markets.