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    Decisions for Farmers Market Setup and Operation

    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. In this sense, starting a new farmers market is similar to starting a new business.

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    Drafting Farmers Market Documents: Vendor Application

    Farmers markets may be interested in creating a vendor application. This document provides an opportunity to collect contact information from potential vendors and update information from returning vendors. Typically, all vendors fill out an application each year before the beginning of the selling season. In some markets, products and new vendors will be reviewed and accepted by the board.

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    SDSU Extension Hiring Towards Food Security

    It is estimated that by 2050 the planet will reach 9.1 billion people, 34 percent more than today. To be able to feed this population, food production must increase by 70 percent. Regardless of where this population growth happens we need to step up as a food-producing state and nation and contribute to reduce social unrests spurred by food shortages.

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    Funds Available for Specialty Crop Projects

    The South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) announces federal funds are available for specialty crop projects. Organizations involved in the South Dakota specialty crop industry can now apply for select federal funding of projects that enhance the competitiveness of fruits, dried fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, nursery crops and horticulture.

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    Farmers Market: Online Promotion

    Websites, blogs or social media sites such as Facebook are effective tools for promoting the farmers market. Getting started with these tools requires coordination among market participants; it may be helpful to appoint a committee or a single member to manage the online promotion. Another option is to hire a digital marketing firm to manage these outlets for the market.

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    SDSU Extension Garden-Based Education Newsletter

    SDSU Extension provides regular updates for garden educators though their Garden-Based Education Newsletter. This newsletter features lesson ideas linked to core subject areas, garden stories featuring projects across the state of South Dakota, horticultural information, links to educational videos, links to current grant opportunities, and a Pick it! Try It! Like It! feature- a produce item from the garden with recipe, preparation video and supporting lesson plans.

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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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