Learn Simple Marketing Methods for Profiting at Farmers Markets

A Farmers Market in Tennessee
​Farmers planning to sell products at farmers markets can learn simple marketing methods that can make them money at any of six Farmers Market Boot Camps scheduled in Tennessee in 2016. For more information, visit the website: https://tiny.utk.edu/FMBOOT2016. Photo courtesy UTIA. Download image​.

SPRING HILL, Tenn. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Tennessee ranked number one in farmers market growth in 2014, so it stands to reason that those planning to sell goods or produce at a Tennessee farmers market in 2016 would want to make the most of this business opportunity.

Farmers planning to sell products at farmers markets can learn simple marketing methods that can make them money at any of six Farmers Market Boot Camps in 2016. Sponsored by the University of Tennessee Center for Profitable Agriculture, the 
Tennessee Department of Agriculture and the Tennessee Association of Farmers Markets, the six “Boot Camp” workshops will occur at several locations across Tennessee in January, February and March.

In addition to five marketing methods, other topics to be addressed at the workshops include basics of marketing by social media and email, sources of grants and microloans, recordkeeping for good business management, requirements for basic types of foods that may be manufactured and sold at farmers markets and an overview of new food safety regulations. These workshops are open to all farmers and will be taught by University of Tennessee Extension specialists Faith Critzer, Megan Leffew and Hal Pepper.

“The focus of this year’s farmers market boot camps is learning marketing methods to increase sales or decrease costs, finding sources of money and knowing whether you’re making money,” says Hal Pepper of the UT Center for Profitable Agriculture. “We will also discuss the regulations that apply when making a food product to sell at a farmers market and how to determine whether the new federal food safety regulations for produce growers and food manufacturers apply to your operation.” 

To attend a workshop, preregister online at https://tiny.utk.edu/FMBOOT2016. 

The fee is $20, and lunch will be provided. Preregistration is required at least five business days prior to the workshop, and space is limited.

The workshops will be held in White Pine (Jan. 28), Athens (Jan. 29), Lebanon (Feb. 22), Winchester (Feb. 24), Trenton (March 2) and Centerville (March 3). The same training will be conducted in each location. Check-in begins at 9 a.m. and sessions will last from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The workshops are intended for farmers who plan to sell at farmers markets and session titles are as follows:​


​·         Marketing Methods to Make Money

·         Social Media and Email Marketing Basics for the Farmers Market

·         Where to Find Money

·         How to Know Whether You’re Making Money

·         Are You In or Out? Overview of New Regulations and Who They Apply To

·         Regulatory Roadmap for Farmers Market Vendors


This workshop fulfills a Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP) requirement in only the Fruits and Vegetables and Value-Added diversification sectors. For additional information regarding educational programs for TAEP requirements, please contact Mark Powell at the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, 615-837-5344.

For more information about the workshops, visit the CPA’s website:
ag.tennessee.edu/cpa and look for information on the pulldown menu under educational events. 

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. 



Hal Pepper, UT Center for Profitable Agriculture, 931-486-2777,