Washington State Farmers Market Management Toolkit

Karen Kinney, Washington State Farmers Market Association

Colleen Donovan, WSU Small Farms Program

Toolkit Chapters

Chapter 1: Acknowledgements & Feedback

Chapter 2: Organizational Blueprints for Farmers Markets

Chapter 3: Markets Count! Collecting, Managing & Deploying Your Farmers Market Data

Chapter 4: Sustaining Your Farmers Market’s Human Resources

Chapter 5: Finances, Fundraising & Financial Management

Chapter 6: Happy Vendors, Happy Managers

Chapter 7: Accepting “Multiple Currencies” at Your Farmers Market

Chapter 8: Marketing Your Market

Chapter 9: Legal, Regulatory & Policy Issues in WA State


The “Washington State Farmers Market Management Toolkit” is designed to provide timely information, tips, and templates to farmers market managers, board members, volunteers and other organizers as they negotiate the ever-increasing demands of running a farmers market.  We know that farmers don’t just “show up” on market day. Like any successful enterprise, an enormous amount of behind-the-scenes work goes into sustaining our farmers markets.

The Washington State Farmers Market Association and WSU Small Farms Program have collaborated on this Toolkit to streamline information and reduce managers’ learning curve. We know there is no one-size-fits-all approach to any farmers market. Our hope is that you can adapt these tools to your own individual market needs.

We’ve designed each section to be easy to update and improve. Please email suggested edits, corrections, new resources and other constructive feedback to us at office@wafarmersmarkets.com. We all benefit by learning about the practical ideas, best practices and excellent work being done at farmers markets around the state.

© 2012 Washington State Farmers Market Association and Washington State University Small Farms Program.



Washington State Farmers Market Manual

Marcia Ostrom and Zachary D. Lyons

The Washington State Farmers Market Association, WSU Small Farms Program and Washington State Department of Agriculture have collaborated to update the “Washington State Farmers Market Manual” (Second Edition). The updated Manual is an excellent overview for communities looking to start a farmers market and for new market managers, boards and agricultural professionals working to support farmers markets.


Toolkit Support

Funding for this publication is based on work supported by a USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service Farmers Market Promotion Program grant, Award #12-25-G-1205, and USDA, Agricultural Food Research Initiative of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant, Award #2009-55618-05172. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


Disclaimer: The information provided in this Toolkit is for educational purposes to assist farmers market management in improving their market operations. This material is not intended, and should not be used, as a substitute or replacement for individual legal, financial, or actuarial advice. Each market organization should consult a relevant professional advisor when making business decisions as appropriate.