The Dane County Farmers’ Market (yes the one held in Madison surrounding the beautiful state capital since 1972!) has had Larry Johnson as its manager for the past decade. Recently, he offered some tips for emerging vendors on market selection. I for one am always happy to see this sort of SWOT analysis so that those that are making their decision about where to invest their time and money are armed with some good perspective. Larry has been at it for a long time and offers some sound advice, among them ideas for how to know what a “good” market should have:
“… Not all farmers markets are created equal. A good market has a good organization (board or core group of volunteers and/or vendors) that lay the groundwork or rules for the vendors. Having a dedicated manager is also important, according to Johnson, for maintaining the quality of the market, by making sure rules are followed. Johnson said as manager of the Dane County Farmers’ Market, he’s very intentional about food safety, licenses and such. He even goes out to vendors’ farms to make sure they’re producing what they’re selling, in order to maintain “integrity of products.”
I would recommend linking this article on your website or even printing some out for your market vendors.