Market Manager FAQ

      Posted On: October 14, 2013

Market Manager Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the Farmers Market Manager Frequently Asked Questions, a starting place for current and prospective farmers market managers and organizers looking to develop, expand, and improve their organizations. This resource is made possible thanks to the submissions many market leaders have made to the Farmers Market Resource Library, discussions among peers on the FMC Listserv, and the expertise of the FMC Education Committee. This FAQ was developed in 2010 in partnership with the Wallace Center at Winrock International, with support from USDA Risk Management Agency.

This FAQ is broken into seven categories, in which you will find links to specific entries in the FMC Resource Library. 

Market Fundamentals

The Market Fundamentals section includes many of the preliminary questions you will want to ask and answer before opening a market. Find answers to start-up FAQs and watch video interviews with veteran market managers here.

Market Policies

Rules are as important for a farmers market as for a professional sports team, and it’s no surprise that transparency and consistency are key to any policy. Find answers to the FAQs below and watch video interviews with veteran market managers here.

Market Staff

Whether paid, volunteer, or somewhere in between, well-trained market staff are critical for effective outreach and and communication with customers and producers. Find answers to Market Staff FAQs and watch video interviews with veteran market managers here.

Insurance, Liability, and Regulation

Find out what kind of insurance your market and its vendors need, how to legally have live music, and how to keep everyone safe here.

Market Growth, Outreach, and Evaluation

Get the word out about your market to potential customers and expand your product offerings. Read more about growing and measuring success here.

Extending the Market Season

Whether you want to operate year round, open a satellite market, or simply host an extra holiday market, extending the season means more revenue for your producers. Learn more about how to extend the season here.

Increasing Market Access

SNAP? EBT? FMNP? Learn more about integrating nutrition programs into your farmers market and helping connect your farmers with a more economically and socially diverse customer base here.

Please use the Contact Form to suggest additional questions and answers, as well as to clarify or add detail to an existing question or notify us of broken links. Updates will be made to the FAQ periodically based on this input. Share resources with your peers by adding a new resource to the FMC Resource Library using the Submit Form here.

Market Manager Frequently Asked Questions Coming Soon

      Posted On: July 13, 2010

  • “Should we charge vendors a single base fee or a percentage-of-sales fee?”
  • “ What types of insurance does our market organization need?”
  • “ What rules should apply to artisan vendors?”

Sample video FAQ footage of market staff at the Crescent City Farmers Market as they prepare signage before the opening bell

These are just a few of the questions that FMC, and our member state associations, get every month from both new and existing markets. A better question might be, “Where can I refer people to find answers to these questions!?”  Starting next month, the farmers market community might have some answers to these and other questions.

In a far-reaching partnership, the Farmers Market Coalition has been working with the Wallace Center for Sustainable Agriculture to develop a set of Frequently Asked Questions for Farmers Market Managers, to be housed on the FMC web site with linkages to entries in the Farmers Market Resource Library. These FAQs, grouped into seven categories, ranging from ‘Getting Started’ to ‘SNAP and Nutrition Programs’  are being  developed with the help of FMC member and listserv subscriber input, the FMC Education Committee, Wallace Center Intern Kathleen Stewart, and former FMC Intern Sarah Johnson.

Alongside these FAQs, which will be launched at the beginning of August, will be a set of video interviews with farmers market staff around the country.  These videos, which will showcase best practices from leading market organizations, will be housed on an FMC YouTube Channel along with past webinars and favorite videos of markets around the country. The videos feature interviews with:

Chris Curtis, Director of the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance
Seattle, Washington

Bernie Prince and Ann Yonkers, Co-Directors; Sarah Mosbacher, Markets and Program Manager

Washington, DC

Michael Hurwitz, Director; and Liz Carollo, Publicity Coordinator

NYC Greenmarket
New York, New York

David Rand, Farm Forager; Lyle Allen, Executive Director; and Mark Psilos, Market Manager

Green City Market
Chicago, Illinois

Emery Van Hook, Director of Markets

Crescent City Farmers Market
New Orleans, Louisiana

Video credits also go to Darlene Wolnik of and Pat Lute of FRESHFARM Markets, who donated considerable time to coordinate the on-site interviews in Washington, DC and New Orleans.  During National Farmers Market Week, the FMC web site visitors will be able to read, watch, and provide feedback on this dynamic new educational resource. In the meantime, submissions to the resource library can be made at