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 (26)
- Farm Business and Marketing (29)
- Farm Inspection and Enforcement (27)
- Food Safety and Handling (18)
- Funding and Grants (16)
- Insurance, Liability, and Licensing (20)
- Management and Operations (86)
- Market Start-up and Development (38)
- Other (2)
- Promotion, Outreach, and Special Events (34)
- 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)
Lobbying and direct contact with policymakers are critical components of an advocacy campaign and can be instrumental in achieving the desired policy change. Lobbying refers to asking an elected official or key decision-maker to vote a certain way or take a specific stand on a piece of legislation, rule, issue or policy. One of the most persuasive forms of lobbying is a face-to-face meeting with your elected officials or her/his staff about the issue at stake, why you are passionate about the issue, and the position you’d like your member of Congress to take.
It’s important to remember that lobbying is part of a comprehensive strategy to win on your issue or achieve the policy change you want. Lobbying builds relationships with elected officials and educates them, develops leaders and their credibility within your organization or network, and sets the stage for ongoing advocacy. Lobbying also serves as a complement to network- or base-building and media advocacy – all three strategies work together to create a successful advocacy campaign.
This great guide, prepared by the Center for Health and Gender Equity, will get you started with the process.
Farmers, as well as shoppers, rely on farmers markets to check all vendors’ claims and business practices. Because trust is a core feature of the farmers market brand, this task is critical. However, it is increasingly challenging given the diversity of operations, number of products, regional microclimates, layers of permits, distances between farms and markets, as well as language, literacy, and technology divides. In states without official certification programs, few market managers have the skills and knowledge needed to verify every vendor—even if they had the time and travel budget to do so.
In this presentation, Colleen Donovan of Washington State University’s Small Farms Program will map out current issues concerning “farmers market integrity” and present an overview of how different farmers markets around the country certify farms and markets. She will also share an approach developed by a Market Integrity Advisory Team in Washington State and practical tips, such as “desk audits,” that market managers can do if they are not part of a certification program or able to visit farms.
Desk Audits Notes (pdf)
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.