ASAP Connections

Local Food. Strong Farms. Healthy Communities

Farmers Market Management



Thinking of starting a farmers market?

ASAP receives many calls every year from people thinking about starting a tailgate market. Some calls come from farmers or organizations, but most come from property or business owners considering the idea either as a customer draw or as a beneficial use for an underutilized part of the property. As a result, we know there is great interest in starting markets.

We are certainly able to advise you personally as needed, but as a starting point, here are some tips that—through our years of work in this arena—we believe anyone starting a market should consider.

Ten Tips for Starting a Farmers Tailgate Market

Strategies for Market Managers and Market Policy

Running a tailgate market is a balance of market management, rules and regulations, vendor mix, keeping the peace, and strategic planning. Review ASAP’s powerpoint of Farmers Market Management and consider what strategies and policies might work for your market manager and tailgate market.

Powerpoint Presentation

Section one

How are you going to manage?

  • Management options
  • Essential elements of effective management
  • Common issues, concerns, and problems
  • Formula for success

Market rules and regulations—managing conflict, solving problems

  • Common problem areas
  • Preventive measures for keeping the peace
  • Sample statement of professionalism
  • Elements of a formal grievance process

Section two

Product mix management

  • Vendor preferences vs. the market’s best interests
  • Best practices
  • Vendor selection criteria

Section three

Strategic planning

  • Market needs assessment
  • Location/site assessment guide

Farmers Market Promotion Program

Farmers Market Promotion Program Grants

The training modules and resource information presented in our Host a Farmers Market section were developed through a series of workshops funded by the Farmers Market Promotion Program, USDA, and Agricultural Marketing Service. ASAP worked in partnership with farmers market managers, leaders, and vendors, including members of the Mountain Tailgate Market Association, to provide training and education on best market practices.Read More ▶▶

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