Lettuce Grow Markets Training Series

The Lettuce Grow Training Series took place from 2017-2019 around the State of Iowa. Now the series is available online. Each training features an experienced market manager and vendor providing insight on farmers markets.Each of the trainings were offered in person and online with the recorded versions being made available on YouTube.

The Lettuce Grow Training Series videos are a component of the Iowa Farmers Market Toolkit.

Accepting Food Nutrition Programs

Looking to accept nutrition coupons? Listen to Iowa farmers markets that are accepting Farmers Market Food Assistance Programs to find out what programs exist, how to accept them, how a token system operates, and the markets that operate them.

Marketing your Market

Marketing your farm or farmers market means more engagement and more sales. It also empowers and educates the customers that are interested, but not yet making the market a habit. This workshop is part of a collaborative statewide project to strengthen Iowa’s markets and offer meaningful professional development. The Lettuce Grow Markets Training Series is coordinated by Northeast Iowa RC&D and Iowa Valley RC&D. This will be perfect for vendors and market managers (both new and experienced) who are eager to learn how to get the most of out of a marketing budget, even if that budget is tiny.

Metrics at Your Market

The Metrics at Your Farmers Market Workshop will inform market managers and
vendors what metrics are collected, how to collect data, and why this data is incredibly valuable. Presentation will be made by Darlene Wolnik from the National Farmers Market Coalition, Josh Dansdill from Northeast Iowa RC&D, Becky Huang from North Iowa Berries and Charles Puffer from Puffer Roske Farm.

Vendor Recruitment

Recruiting a diversity of vendors to your farmers market can be challenging, but has a direct impact on vendor sales, customer consistency, and the market experience. But how do you find the right vendors, explain the market opportunity, and answer their questions? How do you know what kind of vendors that are the most important vendors to seek out? What do the people who attend your market really want? What would draw in new customers?

Market Insurance and Liabilities

Managing risk at your market goes beyond having the right insurance policy. It involves developing risk management policies, enforcing those policies on busy market days, creating a thoughtful market layout, implementing food safety standards, and considering liability with all market decisions.

Customer Service and Satisfaction

Developing and coordinating events for your farmers market can be challenging, but has a direct impact on vendor sales, customer consistency, and the market experience. But how do you organize an event, which events actually increase the market’s attendance, and how can events increase sales for vendors? When attendance goes up how can we increase customer satisfaction to keep them coming back for years to come?

USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program grants (Award No. #16-FMPP-IA-0027) supported this work. 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.