Market Manager Resource Center   

Getting Started

Funding Sources

Regulations & Food Safety


Promoting the Market

Tracking the Market's Success

Low-Income Customers

Direct Marketing Organizations

General Resources

Disclaimer: West Virginia Cooperative Extension does not specifically endorse any companies listed on this website, 

but provides them as a resource to those searching for product information or general pricing of certain items.

Click on the photos to find out more about the markets at which they were taken!



National Directory of Farmers’ Markets

A clickable map leads you to farmers’ markets by state.  Also has links to

farmers’ markets websites.  Farmers’ markets listed at this site often are

willing to share information on their by-laws, guidelines or mission statements.


Direct Marketing Business Management (PDF)

From ATTRA, this Guide covers everything from Pricing to Publicity


Establishing & Operating a Community Farmers' Market (PDF)

(from the University of Kentucky)


Leadership Development and Community Organizing

From USDA Rural Development, these Technotes provide practical advice on Leadership development, organizing, how to write grant proposals, and applying for 501(c)(3) status.


Direct Farm Marketing and Tourism Handbook (PDF)

(from the University of Arizona)


Farmers' Market Development Manual (PDF)

(from Iowa State University)


Recipes for Market Success (PDF)

(from USDA's Small Farm Digest, Spring/Summer 2003)


Missouri Alternatives Center

    Extensive list of Extension publications on farmers’ markets including: 

       *Food Safety for Farmers’ Markets

       *A Guide to Starting, Operating, and Selling in Farmers’ Markets

       *Weights and Measures Guidelines for Sales at Farmers’ Markets,

Roadside Stands and Other Commercial Outlets

(Click on 'F' for Farmers' Market)


Starting a Business in West Virginia (PDF)

This booklet acts as a guide to starting a business in West Virginia, complete

with forms necessary to register with the Tax Department and receive your business registration certificate.


Applying for IRS 501(c)(3) Status (PDF)


West Virginia Business Forms

Forms for registering as an LLC or Non-profit with the WV Secretary of State



Templates for creating :

   Bylaws (Word doc.)

   Vendor Rules (Word doc.)

    Vendor Applications (Word doc.)


 "Analyze the habits and needs          of your potential customers"



Funding Sources



Funding for Direct Marketing

A comprehensive list of potential funding sources for

developing and improving a farmers’ market


                       Food and Society                                                     As an initiative of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation,

Food & Society offers grants for programs

dealing with food systems and rural development.


Grant Writing Resources

From the USDA's Rural Development Agency


Public Markets and Community Revitalization

From the Ford Foundation, this site includes potential

funding sources for markets, with a guidebook covering all

aspects of the market development process.  Includes sample

budgets, staffing requirements, tenant mix plans, marketing strategies,

cash flow analysis and cost projections.


"With sales figures a manager can analyze whether a marketing campaign is effective. Trying advertising or promotional ideas    with a cost is necessary, but if you   can only rely on farmers' anecdotal responses about sales going up, it is difficult to determine whether your expenditure paid off..."




Grassroots Pricing Index
Search by product or by state to find prices for items sold at

farmers' markets throughout the United States. Become a reporter

and list the prices charged for products at your market for the

benefit of other farmers in West Virginia and beyond!


Organic Price Index

Published by the Rodale Institute


Today’s Market Prices

Up-to-date price listings for wholesale Herbs, Fruit,

and Vegetables.  Requires subscription.


Vegetable, Fruit & Flower Wholesale Prices

Courtesy of USDA



Regulations & food Safety


Temporary Food Service Concession Guidelines (PDF)

from the WV Department of Health & Human Resources


Food Safety for Farmers' Markets (PDF)

(From Kansas State University)


Safe Handling of Food at Open Markets (PDF)

(From Kansas State University)


Local Health Department Contacts (PDF)

To find regulations specific to your county


"The challenge is to be sensitive to both groups, farmers and consumers, without letting either side demand  too much.  Some farmers want monopolies but customer numbers will suffer generally if you listen. At least two vendors selling the same item in numerous categories is a good idea to start.  You need to distinguish your farmers' market from local supermarket competition"

Promoting the Market



How to Write a Press Release (PDF)

(From USDA Rural Development)


Food Routes

Great reminders on the importance of supporting local farmers

'Thousands of miles fresher' poster

'Ripens close to home' poster

'Plant your dollars close to home' poster


Local Harvest

A free database on which to list your farmers’ market.

Individual farms can also add themselves to the online

database, frequently searched by the public.


West Virginia Cookbooks

From the WVDA, these printed booklets on preparing vegetables,

meats, honey and more can be ordered free of charge

for handing out at your market.



Brochures, posters, educational programs,

and many resources for promoting fruits and vegetables.


Farmers’ Market Coloring Book

From USDA, in Word or PDF format


About Produce

Detailed nutritional information and recipes for fresh produce,

published by the Produce Marketing Association and Produce

for Better Health Foundation.


Seasonal Recipes



Community Food Security Coalition


The Northeast Regional Food Guide

    Consists of a full-color regional food pyramid, a seasonal produce guide,

and a set of eight fact sheets providing additional nutrition information and

tips on using seasonal produce.


"A Press release is one of our most useful and powerful marketing tools. The press release serves two purposes.  First, it gets the      information of our market before the public.  Secondly, because a press release is a news story and not an advertisement, it gives the story, and therefore your market, credibility."



Tracking your Market's Success


Market Effects on Neighboring Businesses (PDF)

From Oregon State University


Surveying Your Customers (PDF)

From Oregon State University, the Rapid Market Assessment Survey method offers a fun way to survey your customers and strengthen the market.


Low-Income Customers



Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program

Details about this federal program for low-income women and

their children, with information on how to accept the vouchers

and contacts for application in West Virginia.


Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program

Details about this federal voucher program and how

to apply to accept SFMNP vouchers.



Direct Marketing Organizations



North American Farmers' Direct Marketing Association

Non-profit association dedicated to the needs of the farm direct

marketing industry.  Projects and benefits are targeted for

farmers, market managers, Extension and other government agencies.


West Virginia Direct Marketing Association


Agricultural Marketing Resource Center

Value-added agriculture resources

Maine Federation of Farmers' Markets

Provides free downloads of:

*Promotional Ideas for Farmers’ Markets

*Setting Up at Farmers’ Market

*Starting a Farmers’ Market


General Resources


ATTRA – Appropriate Technology Transfer to Rural Areas

Openair-Market Net

A guide to Farmers’ Markets, Street Vendors, Flea Markets and Street Markets


National Organic Program

Informs about production and certification

requirements to sell organic products.


The Market Bulletin

News from the West Virginia Department of Agriculture


"Look at the organizations and activities in your area.  Those organizations with successful fundraisers may want to use the market as a new location for their event.  Let the library or the high school orchestra know that your farmers' market is available as a fundraising site.  This builds community support and also           brings in publicity."

Sponsored by West Virginia Cooperative Extension, Center for Agriculture & Natural Resources Development. 

Website and photographs by Stacy Miller, 2004.  Quotes from The New Farmers' Market (2001)

by Vance Corum, Marcie Rosenzweig, and Eric Gibson.  Auburn, California: New World Publishing.