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    Market Vendor Tips: Display

    Create a sign for your farm. The sign should list the farm’s name, location and contact information. The goal is to establish credibility and make the stall instantly recognizable to customers. It also helps them feel personally connected to your farm, which is one of the reasons many customers prefer shopping at a farmers market. One or more pictures of your farm can enforce that personal feeling.

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    Market Vendor Tips: Stand Location

    Some vendors believe their location within a market is important for high sales. There are many theories when it comes to stall location. Some say it is good to be located at the front where customers will see your stand first. Others disagree: what if customers want to look around before purchasing? They might not make it back to the first stall to make a purchase.

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    Vision & Mission Statements Help Farmers Markets Find Purpose

    Kari O’Neill, SDSU Extension Community Development Field Specialist, sees important benefits for farmers markets that draft vision and mission statements. She has provided coaching for this process to several organizations and communities throughout the state. The groups she worked with to develop vision and mission statements are now more confident in their direction.

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    Liability Issues for Farmers Markets

    Concerns about liability and who is responsible can cause some of the biggest fears to farmers and others involved in direct marketing products to consumers. Many markets in South Dakota operate without a liability policy for the market; however, this can be risky. Markets without a liability policy are unprotected in the event that a customer might slip and fall at their market; unless the entity that owns the land where the market is held assumes the responsibility for insuring the premises.

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    Business Banking for Farmers Markets

    Initial fundraising, dues and donations may be collected and deposited into a farmers market organizer’s personal account. However, one drawback to this method is that the tax liability will legally be placed on the person who volunteers to use their Social Security number to set up the account. Overtime as the market begins collecting stall fees, dues and other transactions consider opening a business account specifically for the farmers market.

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    Garden Clubs & Associations

    Novice gardeners and master gardeners share a love of and respect for nature, which is one of the many reasons why they naturally seek out like-minded individuals to organize clubs or associations. Many cities and counties have their own clubs or associations and the following is not a complete listing, but rather a beginning resource for connecting with others in the gardening community.

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    Additional Local Food Marketing Venues

    Local food producers have a variety of options for marketing their products. Consider on-farms sales for those interested in connecting directly with the consumer at the farm. The set-up could include a farm store, a U-pick or Pick-Your-Own operation and other agritourism components. These features will be appealing to people seeking extremely fresh produce, canners and cooks that are seeking large quantities of product at a reduced cost, and families looking for a weekend activity, wanting their children to experience farm life and food production.

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    Cooperative Networks in Local Foods

    Local foods communities across the nation are working together to form cooperative networks in attempt to have a large portion of local food sales while reducing inputs. Working together to streamline issues related to production processes and inputs, distribution, processing, use or consumption, recycling and disposal of food wastes, and support services to operate can all be explored as individuals begin to collaborate. These articles provide some options for exploring producer and community partnerships.

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