Building Market Success2018-05-07T09:22:52+00:00

Press Event – June 15, 2024 – Richmond, VA

Contact: Virginia Farmers Market Association Kim Hutchinson, PhD, MBA Virginia Farmers Market Association Executive Director 14241 Midlothian Turnpike, #153 Midlothian, Virginia 23113 Contact RELEASE DATE: May 29, 2024 Virginia Farmers Market Association announces 2024 Virginia Certified Farmers Markets 19 Virginia farmers markets achieve gold status. Press event scheduled for [...]

VAFMA announces 2024 Virginia Certified Farmers Markets

19 Virginia Farmers Market Achieve Gold Certification! Congratulations to the 2024 Virginia Gold Certified Farmers Markets! 19 farmers markets achieved Gold certification status this year. They include: Blacksburg Farmers Market Charlottesville City Market Downtown South Boston Farmers Market Falls Church Farmer Market Goochland Farmers Market Historic Manassas [...]

News: Food Safety Certificates, Equity Webinars & Legal Toolkit Feedback

In this Issue Food Safety Summit Recordings & Certificates Equity Webinar Series Starts Tuesday Feedback on Farmers Market Legal Toolkit Recordings & Certificates are Available for the 2024 Virginia Farmers Market Food Safety Summit Recorded April 4, 9 & 11, 2024 An online summit for market managers, food vendors / [...]

A Pivotal Year for VAFMA – a note to members, partners, and supporters

Dear Friends of VAFMA, This has been a pivotal year for the Virginia Farmers Market Association. We have launched and expanded initiatives that have been brewing for years. It is with the deepest gratitude that I share these 2023 highlights with you -- our members, partners, and supporters. These accomplishments [...]

Become a Virginia Certified Farmers Market

The Virginia Farmers Market Association has launched the Virginia Certified Farmers Market Program to recognize markets in the state that are meeting and exceeding best practices. This is a way for markets to distinguish themselves to consumers, vendors, and their communities. When consumers shop a Virginia [...]

Virginia Farmers Market News – June 2023

News Update In this Issue: Farmers Market Shopper Survey Promoting Virginia's Farmers Markets Eggs at Market Posters for the Senior & WIC Produce Vouchers Produce Farmers: Accepting Senior & WIC Vouchers Upcoming Events & Useful Links Supporting Partners Farmers Market Shopper Survey View your shoppers data in real time We [...]

More Money From Your Markets

More Money From Your Markets Webinar with Kelly Shepherd of What the Farm View Webinar Recording You work hard to prepare for your markets, so let’s make sure you have the best sales possible. In this webinar, you will learn how to increase traffic to your booth, convert [...]

Farmers Markets Looking for Vendors – Updated!

Farmers and other market vendors! We have details below by region on markets with openings for new vendors in 2023. If your market is looking for vendors OR if you are a vendor looking for a market, join the Virginia Farmers Markets Listserv to connect. Blue Ridge Region: Botetourt [...]

Virginia Farmers Market Food Safety Summit

Virginia Farmers Market Food Safety Summit March 17, 2023; 9:30 am - 4:00 pm A webinar for market managers & food vendors covering the ins and outs of food safety requirements in Virginia Food freshness, short supply chains and excellent traceability make farmers markets ideal venues [...]

Virginia Black Farmer Directory

An offering of Local Food Hub, a Charlottesville-based nonprofit committed to advancing equitable access to fresh food, independent farms, and fairness in farming. The Virginia Black Farmer Directory is an effort to support and empower Black farmers in Virginia. It is an online database that presents comprehensive biographies, locations, [...]

The Risk and Liability of Running a Farmers Market

What happens if … ? The Risk and Liability of Running a Farmers Market Is your farmers market prepared for an emergency or accident? Does your insurance policy cover what it needs to cover? Do you know how to document an incident? In this webinar, Katie Atkinson of [...]

Sales Strategy for Farmers Market Vendors Webinar

June 22, 2022, 3pm - 5pm, via Zoom Want to increase your sales at the market? Learn tips and techniques of engagement with customers and tourists by developing a sales strategy for both in-person and online sales. Understand how to better communicate what makes you and your brand special. [...]

Market Day Prep for Farmers Market Success (with video)

Session II of the 2022 Farmers Market Preparedness Webinar Series In partnership with Virginia State University Small Farm Outreach Success at the farmers market starts well before you get to market. In the second webinar in the Farmers Market Preparedness series, we focus on being prepared for market day. [...]

Social Media Content Calendar for Farmers Markets

To help our members with their social media planning, we created a 2022 Social Media Content Calendar for Farmers Markets. It’s free for VAFMA Members and $15 for non-members. Use this calendar download to save time and reduce stress when tackling your social media posts. It highlights special marketing days [...]

State of Virginia’s Farmers Markets 2020

By Virginia Cooperative Extension Download this information in Adobe Acrobat Format (pdf) Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Fresh Match, and the Virginia Farmers Market Association partnered in the spring of 2020 to capture a snapshot of the current state of Virginia’s farmers markets. Agriculture is Virginia’s largest industry, and Virginia’s [...]

Online Farmers Market Sales Platforms: A VAFMA Resource Roundup

A topic we hear a lot of questions about is Online Sales Platforms -- how to choose them, how to set them up and how to integrate them into a farmers market. In response, VAFMA and our partners set about answering these questions by creating a series of webinars [...]

Free Speech at Farmers Markets

Many farmers markets face questions about free speech—in particular, what types of restrictions markets can place on activities like leafleting, political campaigning, and protesting. What rules can a market make regarding speech?   A new factsheet from Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School breaks down this [...]

Infectious Disease Training for Farmers Markets

Infectious Disease Training for Farmers Markets November 10, 2020 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM All Virginia businesses – including farmers markets, farms and market vendors -- are now required to adhere to the new Statewide Emergency Workplace Safety Standards adopted by The Department of Labor and Industry’s Virginia [...]

Local Line Webinar

Farmers Selling Online: Using Local Line Brought to you by the Virginia Farmers Market Association and Virginia State University In partnership with Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia State University College of Agriculture, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Farm Credit, Farm Credit Knowledge Center, Virginia [...]

Lulus Local Food Webinar

Brought to you by the Virginia Farmers Market Association and Virginia State University In partnership with Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia State University College of Agriculture, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Farm Credit, Farm Credit Knowledge Center, Virginia Farm Bureau and Virginia FAIRS. [...]

In Virginia, Farmers Markets Count

In Virginia, Farmers Markets Count Initiative to count farmers market shoppers launches in Virginia During National and Virginia Farmers Market Week — proclaimed by Governor Northam as August 4 – 10, 2019 — farmers market operators across Virginia will count their visitors as part of Visitor Count [...]

Market Vendor Lunchtime Webinar Series

During our spring vendor trainings, we asked attendees what additional topics they wanted us to cover. From that input, Rachel Henley and Sarah Sharpe of Virginia Cooperative Extension have scheduled 5 upcoming free webinars. All will take place from 12 (noon) to 12:45pm: 9/16:   Budgeting with Rachel Henley [...]

River Street Market in Petersburg Virginia

River Street Market in Petersburg Virginia By Cheryl Bursch River Street Market was founded and started up by 3 local business owners in 2017. During the first season Richard Cuthbert took over as owner/founder and hired Cheryl Bursch as Market Manager in July of that year. We had a [...]

Opening Day at Capitol Square Farmers Market

Capitol Square Farmers Market Opens OnTheSquareVA Farmers Market opened Friday with 20 vendors and a crowd of 600 people during the two hour lunchtime market. The market is part of the Governor's initiative OnTheSquareVA -- a series of activities designed to get state employees up and moving and [...]

Intro to CNG: Does it Fit Your Farm?

Intro to Certified Naturally Grown: Does it Fit Your Farm? VAFMA is pleased to offer an opportunity for farmers to learn more about Certified Naturally Grown during a live call.   Wednesday, May 15th at 7pm Intro to CNG: Does it Fit Your Farm? Register [...]

Resources from VAFMA Vendor Training in Richmond

Farmers Market Vendor Training Resources The Virginia Farmers Market Association held a training day in Richmond for farmers market vendors on April 23, 2019. An excellent line up of marketing and business experts shared detailed advice specifically for farmers market vendors. The day also included a Vendor [...]

Jennifer Kennedy to Leave Lynchburg Community Market

"It is with great excitement and yet bittersweet emotion that I announce my departure as manager of the Lynchburg Community Market (LCM) as I finish my tenure in the upcoming weeks" Jennifer Kennedy writes. She continues, "In the next month, I will await the arrival of a sweet baby boy [...]

Loudoun Farmers Markets: It’s That Thing We Do on the Weekend

By Don Owens, Outreach Coordinator, Loudoun Farmers Markets The Loudoun Valley HomeGrown Markets Cooperative (a.k.a., Loudoun Farmers Markets) will celebrate its 25th Anniversary market season beginning in May, 2019. Our original market in Leesburg has been bringing local agriculture and the community together since 1994. Just named Best Farmers Market [...]


By Justin McKenzie, Charlottesville City Market Charlottesville City Market has been a social and economic hub for the Charlottesville/Albemarle region. The market draws five thousand people to the downtown area each week, bringing their business not just to the market itself but to the many small businesses downtown as well. [...]


2019 marks an important milestone for one of the oldest running farmers markets in the Virginia Commonwealth. The Arlington Farmers Market was founded in 1979 and will celebrate 40 years this spring, with a special commemorative event on April 27th, 2019, including kids’ activities and a keynote speech from Dr. [...]

Momentum at the Markets in Warrenton

By Elizabeth Melson In 2017, the Town of Warrenton updated market governance guidelines and the Board of Directors, which resulted in a 34% increase in the number of vendors attending. They implemented successful programming through community partners, volunteers, and grants. The town continued that momentum in 2018, by hiring a [...]


Influencers Panel at the Virginia Farmers Market Conference Strategies & Tips for Engaging Influencers on a Shoestring Notes from the 2018 Virginia Farmers Market Conference compiled by Mary Delicate With the growth of social media – Instagram in particular – influencer marketing has exploded in popularity. It’s not [...]

Virginia Farmers Market News – September 14, 2018

Dear VAFMA Members & Friends, Mark you Calendars: VAFMA's 6th Annual Farmers Market Conference “Influencers, Innovators & Incubators” November 1-2, 2018 Richmond, Virginia Take two days off from the market, barn, hoop house, office, field or kitchen to get inspired! Network with friends and neighbors, learn about business-strengthening innovations and [...]

Funding Resources for Farms and Farmers Markets

By Kim Hutchinson, Executive Director, VAFMA Here is short list of resources for Farmers and Farmers Markets to better assist with finding funding. Funding Calendars and Listings The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service has a calendar for funding opportunities for agricultural-related grants. These range from specialty crop grants, to advertising [...]

Keeping Your Cool & Being Available

By Emilie Tydings, VAFMA Board Vice President Saturday morning and your phone rings at 5:30 and the parking lot where you hold your market is flooded. Vendors are not getting along in your market and fighting over food prices. There is a need to grow more customers into the market [...]


Courtesy of Historic Lewes Farmers Market The Historic Lewes Farmers Market in Delaware made their market a "Living Lab" to answer two questions: What can we do to increase sales and attendance at our market? What can we do to increase sales and attendance of SNAP customers at [...]


If you’re starting a new market or looking to expand your vendor base, you may need help attracting new vendors to your market. We talked with experienced market managers and marketing pros and below is their advice. Did we miss something? Please share it with us! This is a living [...]


01/16/2012 by Scott DeNoon, Jesse Richardson, & Martha Walker The popularity of farmers’ markets has increased significantly over the past decade as consumers take a greater interest in the various foods that end up on their dinner tables. These markets are located in various venues (entirely outdoors, completely indoors, combination [...]


by Jesse J. Richardson Jr., Associate Professor, Virginia Tech Legal liability (or "liability" when used in this booklet) means responsibility under the law for your acts or omissions. Traditional agriculture involves producing crops, raising livestock, and, perhaps, selling products raised on the farm at roadside stands. When agriculture followed the [...]


12/01/2012 by Jesse Richardson, Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech In short, the answer is “it depends.” The consensus of professionals in the field is that any type of farm, agritourism or direct marketing operation should have at least $1 million in coverage. That amount of coverage will suffice for the vast majority [...]


01/16/2012 by Jesse Richardson, Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech The best way to minimize legal liability is to constantly monitor the conditions of your operation to ensure that the operation is safe. A liability assessment is an important part of this monitoring program. A liability assessment systematically reviews the operation to [...]


05/01/2013 by Change Lab Solutions "Local governments can promote access to fresh produce, support local farmers, create community gathering places, and revitalize neighborhoods by supporting farmer's markets. This guide provides and overview of farmers' market policy issuesand community tested best practices. It also features a set of complementary model land [...]


04/27/2010 by Denise Mainville, Ph.D., Virginia Tech Starting a farmers market is a challenging task with numerous issues to be tackled and activities to sequence. While generating a customer and vendor base is clearly fundamental to the successful establishment of a farmers market, there are also key administrative foundations that [...]


01/13/2015 Defining a market’s mission is a fundamental task—it defines the market’s aims and activities, its purpose in a nutshell, and hence establishes the boundaries of its operation. And it should answer the question of what you hope to achieve in operating the farmers market. By defining its purpose clearly and concisely, [...]


by Farmers Market Coalition - Market Manager FAQ series "Whether paid, volunteer, or somewhere in between, well-trained market staff are critical for effective outreach and and communication with customers and producers."


01/13/2015 by Farmers' Market Federation of NY, modified for Virginia Many use the term “rules” and “by-laws” interchangeably. They are similar but have basic differences. By-laws define the structure of the governing body, which operates the farmers market, and once in place are rarely amended. They generally include a definition [...]

Direct Marketers and the Virginia Sales Tax

by Bill Whittle & Gordon E. Groover Historically, farmers have not paid sales tax on many purchases used in agricultural production, nor have they been concerned with collecting sales tax because they have sold a commodity product to a wholesaler or middleman. Now, however, many Virginia farmers have entered into [...]

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