Beginning Vendor Support Network

Farmers markets are a place where many producers get their start: brands are built, products are tested and refined, capital is raised and skills are learned. Farmers markets are powerful engines for small business development. We believe farmers markets are a natural gateway to the local foods economy for food and farm entrepreneurs, and we want to help markets support their newest vendors in the best ways they can.

In late 2018, OFMA launched the Beginning Vendor Support Network (BVSN), which aims to study and support the role of farmers markets as small business incubators for their beginning vendors. This program creates a community of practice for five small- and medium-sized rural farmers markets, equipping them with the tools they need to help their newest vendors succeed. The managers of the Albany, Clatskanie, Manzanita, Umpqua Valley, and Baker City Farmers Markets will spend three years hearing from experts, sharing insights with each other, launching customized support initiatives for their own vendors, collecting and analyzing sales and customer data, and working with consultants.

In partnership with the five markets, Oregon State University’s Center for Small Farms and Community Food Systems, and other partners, OFMA has been awarded a three-year federal grant through the USDA’s Farmers Market Promotion Program as well as a grant through the Ford Family Foundation to do this important work. 

Meet the BVSN markets!

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Baker City Farmers Market
The Baker City Farmers Market promotes and encourages small-scale agriculture and a sense of community by creating an outlet for our local farmers, growers, harvesters, ranchers, crafters, artisans and makers to sell directly to the public. Our vendors are a diverse and passionate group, selling only products they grow, propagate, produce or create themselves. Our poster contest, Chef at the Market program, kids’ table, recipe contests, Mystery Shopper prizes, and weekly musicians connect our community. We also support a Double Up SNAP/EBT program so that all in our community can access fresh food. Savor locally grown food, support local makers and meet your neighbors at the Baker City Farmers Market!

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Clatskanie Farmers Market
The Clatskanie Farmers Market was founded in the spring of 2014 and operates as a nonprofit under the guidance of a dedicated Board of Directors, with an emphasis on food literacy and advocacy for healthy lifestyles. This seasonal, downtown market features a unique green-space setting, weekly live music and a family-friendly outdoor venue to shop for local and unique produce, arts and crafts, and more! CFM gladly accepts SNAP, WIC and FDNP. You can shop locally for your family’s healthy groceries, ingredients for summer barbecues, and unique gifts for those special people in your life, or just come to have lunch and enjoy this weekly community event! We’ll see YOU at the Coolest Little Market in Oregon!

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Corvallis-Albany Farmers Market
The Albany Farmers Market, founded in 1978, is thought to be the oldest continuously operating open-air farmers market in Oregon. In 1998, the market became part of Corvallis-Albany Farmers’ Markets. The market began on the riverfront next to Albany’s oldest commercial building, the 1866 Avery Mill. In 2007, the market moved to its current location at City Hall and the adjoining courthouse block.

Manzanita Farmers Market
Whether you’re visiting the beach for the weekend or are local to the coastal town of Manzanita, Oregon, you can start your summer weekends with fresh food and fun at the Manzanita Farmers Market every Friday evening from mid-June through mid-September. Over 50 vendors showcase high-quality products from farms, ranches, fisheries, chefs, brewers, nonprofits and local artisans all from within 100 miles of Manzanita.

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Umpqua Valley Farmers Market
The Umpqua Valley Farmers Market serves the Roseburg area with fresh produce, plants, prepared food, arts and crafts. With vendors from the surrounding area, you know you are supporting the local economy and your neighbors. We enhance the community by promoting small local farmers and producers, strengthening the local economy and facilitating healthier nutrition while bringing people together in a festive atmosphere.

Sign up for email updates to hear stories about these markets’ progress and receive toolkits that will help your market better support its beginning vendors!