Farmers markets are a very important sector in South Dakota. The COVID-19 pandemic has raised a great deal of concern on trying to keep these markets open, while providing a safe environment for consumers to shop. This article is a guide to help farmers markets set up their operation in a manner that will best protect consumers and allow for continuation of operations.
Farmers Market Operation
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Market volatility and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have left many producers searching for alternative strategies to market their livestock. Many have inquired about selling directly to consumers, which has generated many questions about meat inspection rules and regulations.
“SNAP” stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a federal program administered by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) in collaboration with state agencies of Social Services or Children and Family Services.
This information was developed to provide a resource of options for new or developing markets as they begin organizing their farmers market.
Farmers markets are unique because they represent multiple, individual vendors under a single name, location and organizational identity. Before the first selling day, a farmers market will need to do many of the things that each vendor does for their farm. For example, selecting a name and creating a logo for the market.
One way to increase sales at the farmers market is to offer samples. Vendors need to plan ahead to make sure they are in compliance with sampling regulations.
The first step to forming a new farmers market is to form a planning team. Keep the team small enough so that it is simple, small and manageable.
Farmers markets can help strengthen a community by stimulating the local economy and creating local entrepreneurial opportunities.
Consumers who want to know more about where and how their food is raised are creating a bigger voice nationally. The increasing sales of local foods provides a bright spot for agriculture and a way to bring young farmers into agricultural production.