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Minnesota Farmers' Market Association 


Minnesota Farmers' Market Academy

Everything market management and vendors

need to know

Register Here For The Free Zoominars List

ere is the link to the free 

Blazing Trails Through the Jungle of Food Regulations


Blazing Trails is a 3-hour fast paced zoominar on all the laws and rules that govern food sales in Minnesota and across state lines into our neighboring states. You'll learn about the oldest food laws & the newest ones; where all the words are defined in law (like "food" and "sell"). You'll also learn about the 25+ "exemptions" and "exclusions" from food licensing. Time for Q & A.

Cottage Foods Academy  Everything you need to know about selling cottage foods in MN or becoming a registered cottage foods producer.
 Cottage Foods or Product of the Farm? As a food farmer, when should you choose the product of the farm exclusion from licensing, or the cottage food exemption from licensing, or invest in a food license? This zoominar walks you through your options.

 Direct to Customer


Are you new to marketing directly to customers or looking to refresh your approach?

Whether you are a farmer selling quarters of beef or a vegetable vendor at a Saturday farmers' market, this course is for you. Learn the basics of how to assess your market, pricing, and promotions for maximum effect and apply your knowledge independently in a hands-on workbook.

This free course will meet weekly for one-hour via zoom. Feb. 6, 13 & 20, 2024.


Here is the link to the free workbook "Direct To Customer."


All are welcome to join. Sign up at https://z.umn.edu/direct-to-consumer

Taught by Ryan Pesch, University of Minnesota Extension.

Farmers Market Coalition Membership

Good news! If you are a member of MFMA, you are automatically a member of FMC. As a FMC member, you have access to all their programs as well. Contact info@mfma.org to get the membership login code for FMC.


FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions!


 Top 5 questions MFMA receives year in and year out!
Hemp in Foods FAQs The 2018 Federal Farm Bill authorized the regulated production of hemp nationally and removed it from the Controlled Substances Act, separating it from marijuana. Hemp is now a recognized agricultural crop in the United States. In 2022 Minnesota legislative action modified requirements for cannabinoid products to allow for the sale of edible cannabinoid products. The information on MDA's FAQ page provides detail on the use of hemp as a food ingredient in Minnesota and addresses questions related to edible cannabinoid products for food businesses.
 Insurance for Markets MFMA offers a group insurance policy for member markets and member vendors through Advantage 1 Insurance Agency. The policy is underwritten by West Bend Mutual. This group policy insurance is program is open to MFMA and Wisconsin market members and vendor members. The policy runs Jan. 1 through Dec. 31. 
 Insurance for Vendors

MFMA offers a group insurance policy for member markets and member vendors through Advantage 1 Insurance Agency. The policy is underwritten by West Bend Mutual. This group policy insurance is program is open to MFMA and Wisconsin market members and vendor members. The policy runs Jan. 1 through Dec. 31.

Legal for Sale Scales

If you sell any product by weight, you must use a 'legal for sale' scale. 

Market Bucks + Produce Market Bucks

Market Bucks is an incentive program funded by the Minnesota Legislature to match up to $10 per farmers' market visit to any participant in the SNAP program. SNAP participants go to the market's Welcome Tent, swipe their EBT card for SNAP tokens to spend with vendors selling SNAP-eligible foods, and receive the additional Market Bucks.

Produce Market Bucks is an incentive program funded by the federal government to match up to $10 per farmers' market visit to any participant in the SNAP program - specifically to buy produce.

Hunger Solutions Minnesota administers both programs. As of January 2024, both markets and direct marketing farmers in MN can offer SNAP, Market Bucks, and Produce Market Bucks. To learn how to offer Market Bucks & Produce Market Bucks, contact Jill Westfall at jwestfall@hungersolutions.org.

 

MN Farmers' Market Map




 Make sure you 'claim' your market on the map so shoppers can find you.

 

MFMA Farmers' Market Manual 

Our Farmers' Market  Manual is full of the organizational information needed to operate and participate in today's vibrant Minnesota farmers' markets.  Not only does the Manual go into detail about these subjects, it includes hundreds of links to resources and info from local markets, state agencies, national leaders, and organizations. 

Chapters include:

  1. Starting A Farmers' Market
  2. Organizing
  3. Structuring
  4. Governance Structure
  5. Managing Your Farmers' Market
  6. Financial Management
  7. Food Safety and Food Licensing
  8. Building A Vendor Base
  9. Food Assistance Programs
  10. Obtaining Financial Resources
  11. Promoting Your Farmers' Market
  12. Risk Management and Insurance
 

Power of Produce


The Power of Produce (PoP) Club is a nationally recognized kids program first started at the Oregon City Farmers' Market in May 2011, to empower kids to make healthy food choices, introducing them to where their food comes from.  PoP has now spread throughout the U.S. and Canada at thousands of farmers' markets.

In Minnesota, PoP is now offered for Kids, Teens, and Seniors. Markets and communities raise the money to offer $2 - $5 coupons to the various age groups. Participants then use that coupon to buy produce from the farmers at the market. 

There are two toolkits for markets to use to set up a PoP program. The Farmers Market Coalition's toolkit is free to Minnesota farmers' markets because MFMA is a member of FMC (contact info@mfma.org for the membership code) and the University of Minnesota Extension has a free toolkit.

 

Pricing For Profitability

Ryan Pesch

UMN Extension

Pricing at a farmers' market can be more art than science, whether it's lettuce or eggs or jam. Learn the basics of pricing your product to both make sales and a profit. Taught by Ryan Pesch, University of Minnesota Extension.

<<< Click free workbook that 

accompanies the zoominars.

"Pricing For Profit" video here.

Product of the Farm or Cottage Foods?

As a food farmer, when should you choose the product of the farm exclusion from licensing, or the cottage food exemption from licensing, or invest in a food license?  This zoominar walks you through your options.

Requirements at MN Farmers' Markets Markets & Vendors: this guide contains the most current information to help markets and vendors stay legal & safe. It's the rules, laws, forms.
Safe Food Sampling & Cooking Demos
Sales Tax on Foods at Farmers' Markets

Sales tax on foods in Minnesota is complicated. For example, jams & jellies sold at grocery stores are not taxed BUT jams & jellies sold at a farmers' market are taxed. Key to note is that MDOR defines food terms differently than either MDA or MDH. 

  • FS102D.pdf Defines terms, lists example prepared foods and if they are taxed.
 

Selling Minnesota Guides


The Selling Minnesota Guides are the latest & most accurate sources of laws & rules impacting Minnesota food farmers.

SNAP EBT Both farmers' markets and direct market farmers can get authorized to sell to SNAP participants. The SNAP EBT page lists all the resources available.  Our zoominar explains eligibility requirements, walks you through the application, connects you to MN DHS for your free card reader & transactions, connects you to Hunger Solutions MN to be able to accept Market Bucks from SNAP participants. (Market Bucks matches up to $10 spent by SNAP participants. Market Bucks for Produce matches up to another $10 spent by SNAP participants for produce.)
 ST-19 form Every vendor must submit this form to their market management. The market doesn't file it with any agency, but must keep your form on file for 3.5 years.
WIC (Women, Infants, & Children) at Farmers' Markets

The Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) and the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) are federal programs administered by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (together known as S/FMNP). These programs seek to:

  • Provide fresh, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs to Women, Infants & Children (WIC) participants and low-income seniors, and
  • Expand the awareness, use of, and sales at farmers' markets.

To sign up to offer WIC at your market, contact the MDA Senior / Farmers' Market Nutrition Program.

MFMA provides services, programs, and leadership that support and promote farmers' markets

across Minnesota and our Tribal Nations.

We envision a community of vibrant, profitable, and professionally managed Minnesota farmers’ markets that:

Cultivates, nourishes, and inspires a vibrant local foods community;

provides accessibility to all to local farm fresh foods;

allows local food producers to thrive and grow.


Engagement & Inclusion Director: Sina War /// sina@mfma.org /// (612) 695-6587 

Local Foodshed Database Manager: Maeve Mallozzi-Kelly /// maeve@mfma.org /// (574) 310-5553

Executive Director: Kathy Zeman /// kzeman@mfma.org /// (507) 664-9446 

Minnesota Farmers' Market Association /// 9800 155th Street East, Nerstrand MN 55053 /// info@mfma.org 

       

Copyright MFMA 2023


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