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Farmer’s markets are in full swing across the state and there are more today than ever. But there’s more than just buying and selling going on at the markets.

At the farmer’s market, you shake the hands that have sown, raised, cared for, and harvested your food.  There, you greet old friends and make new ones. They are the best places to connect with the core of the sustainable agriculture community.

Starting a New Farmers Market

Anyone can start a farmers market—city governments, farmers, community groups, business associations, individuals. But establishing a successful market involves meeting certain requirements and conditions.

At a recent Georgia Organics conference, Leanne Culbreath, of Wiregrass Farmers Market, and Deborah Chester, of the Statesboro Mainstreet Farmers Market, presented on Starting and Sustaining a Community Farmers Market. Here are Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 , and Part 5.

 

Below you’ll find presentations and documents used by established and viable farmers markets.

Agriculture and Food Regulations

Foods that are packaged fall under the inspection of the  Department of Agriculture.  Prepared foods that are served fresh are regulated by the Georgia Department of Community Health and falls to the county health departments.  Click here for more information on regulations for value-added and prepared foods.  The Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development at UGA is great resource for questions in this area.

You can find other rules and regulations related to agriculture in Georgia in the Crop and Livestock sections.

Food Stamps and the EBT Program at Farmers Markets

Access to local food at markets has also expanded. Wholesome Wave Georgia enables WIC and SNAP beneficiaries to double dollars they spend at participating farmer’s markets across the state.

Are you interested in accepting SNAP at your farmers’ market? Here’s some basic information on how to get started and how the process works. Learn more about SNAP/EBT benefits on the USDA-Food and Nutrition Service website.