Manual gives insight to founding a new farmers market

Farm Forum

BROOKINGS — Organizing a new farmers market is a dynamic process, according to Chris Zdorovtsov, SDSU Extension Community Development Field Specialist.

“The end results should fit the unique needs and demands of each farmers market and will likely be different for each community,” Zdorovtsov explained.

To aid organizers in what can seem like an overwhelming task, SDSU Extension staff including: Joan Hegerfeld-Baker, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Food Safety Specialist; Rhoda Burrows, Professor & SDSU Extension Horticulture Specialist; and Zdorovtsov developed the iGrow Farmers Market Resource Manual, which includes a wealth of information gathered from farmers market managers from across South Dakota and the U.S.

“Farmers markets have grown in popularity over the past decade – and as a result, there is an increased need for information about how to establish and successfully operate a farmers market, as well as understanding rules for selling at a farmers market,” Zdorovtsov said. “This manual does just that.

The guide includes everything from tips on forming a planning committee, garnering community support and drafting market rules and by-laws to promotional opportunities, navigating regulations and implementing food safety practices.

Each chapter in the manual includes a profile of a market, vendor or program specific to South Dakota. The topics included in the manual are based the focus group session held with market directors and vendors, as well as the many inquiries that come to SDSU Extension by market directors, vendors and others.

Save $10 during June

The manual is available for purchase through the for $35. Through June 30, 2015 use the promotion discount code FM10 during checkout to receive $10 off the regular price. An online format can also be found at

“A lot goes into establishing a new farmers market. By providing information from those who have done it, we hope to make the process a bit easier,” Zdorovtsov said.