2019 Farmers Market Toolkit




Stage 1a: STARTING A MARKET-The Bare Minimum

  1. What is the demand for a new farmers market?
  2. What is the purpose for the market?
  3. What is your plan for running the market?
  4. Free help for starting a farmers market

Stage 1b: STARTING A MARKET-Creating a Firm Foundation

  1. Define Your Market
  2. Make a business plan.
  3. Choose a business structure
  4. Set up your governance:
  5. Choose a market site
  6. Register as a business
  7. Set up your Financials
  8. Know the laws governing farmers markets:
  9. Know your risks and manage them
  10. Rules and Regulations

To view the complete section of Starting a Market, click here.


In this section you will find resources on how to promote your market, grow a volunteer base, start a kids club and plan events.

  1. Marketing, Promotion & Advertising
  2. Event Planning
  3. Volunteer Recruitment and Management
  4. Children’s Programs

To view the complete section of Starting a Market, click here.


Once your market is a stable business, there are many ways you can grow your market by hiring a market manager, developing community partners, creating a “Friends of the Market”, securing grant funding, business training for your vendors and reaching out to new income populations.

  1. Hiring a manager
  2. Develop Community Partners
  3. Fund Raising
  4. Grant funding for Farmers Markets
  5. Market Currency and Tokens:
  6. Friends of the Market
  7. Helping Vendors Grow Their Businesses
  8. Low Income Outreach
  9. More Resources to Grow Your Market

OVERVIEW: Hiring a manager, developing community partners, fundraising, grants, creating a “Friends of the Market”, vendor growth, low-income outreach, & more!

To view the complete section of Starting a Market, click here.


  1. Evaluate Your Market Using Farmers Market Metrics
  2. Farmers Market Assessment Tool
  3. Kentucky Center for Rural and Agriculture Development

To view the complete section of Evaluating a Market, click here.

About this Toolkit:

This toolkit is a collection of documents and resources curated by the Community Farm Alliance’s Farmers Market Support Program team. It was developed in response to the challenges faced by Kentucky farmers market leaders with whom we’ve been working since the beginning of the FMSP in 2015. Like a tool box, this is meant to be used as needed choosing the right tool that fits your market’s need. Although there are many farmers market toolkits available on the web, this one was developed specifically for  Kentucky farmers market.

If you have difficulty accessing this information, please contact us or your local University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Office who will help you get a print version of the material.

Also, if you are looking for a resource and it’s not here or know of a resource that should be here, please contact us so we can source and share that information. The FMSP team reviews this toolkit on a regular basis but because of the rapid changes of the internet, you may find a link that has gone dead before we do. We’d appreciate you letting us know so we can fix it before the next user comes along.

Our Partners:

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service

This toolkit would not be possible without the contributions of our partners at the Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Human Services,  the University of Kentucky Center for Crop Diversification, the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Office, the Kentucky Department of Public Health and farmers market leaders from the 2018 Farmers Market Support Program. Funding for this toolkit was made possible through a United States Department of Agriculture Farmers Market Promotion Program grant and by Community Farm Alliance membership donations.