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Farmer's markets play a valuable role in promoting healthy communities in Montana. While shoppers enjoy the freshness and taste of locally grown foods, and vendors capture more of the value of their products from direct sales to their customers, money is circulated through the local economy.

Use the tabs below for additional resources for farmer's market managers and vendors. For additional assistance, contact us.

See below for the interactive map or download the Montana Farmer's Market Directory.

There are also great market listings available on the Montana Department of Commerce VisitMT.com site and the Abundant Montana Directory. If you are interested in starting a market, refer to Starting a Farmers' Market in Montana, a guidebook from NCAT, AERO and USDA. If you manage a market or are a market vendor, find more resources on the Farmers Market Manager Portal from the Department of Agriculture.


Montana Farmer's Market Map

 

Want to Find a Farmer's Market?

Click Here for the
Abundant Montana Directory

 

Want to Start a Farmer's Market?

Click Here for the
Start a Farmers' Market in Montana Guide

 

Manage a Farmer's Market?

Click Here for the
Farmers Market Portal

 


Farmer's Market Facts

Growth of Montana Farmers Markets.

Direct marketing of farm products through farmer's markets continues to be an important sales outlet for agricultural producers nationwide. Farmer's markets, now an integral part in the urban/farm linkage, have continued to rise in popularity, mostly due to the growing consumer interest in obtaining fresh products directly from the farm. The number of farmer's markets nationally grows every year, and this growth clearly indicates that farmer's markets are meeting the needs of a growing number of farmer's with small- to medium-sized operations.

Number of Montana farmer's markets: 71

Estimated 2013 revenue at Montana farmer's markets: $1.8 million

Who benefits from Farmer's Markets?

  • Small farm operators: Those with less than $250,000 in annual receipts who work and manage their own operations meet this definition (94 percent of all farms).
  • Farmers and consumers: Farmers have direct access to markets to supplement farm income. Consumers have access to locally grown, farm-fresh produce and the opportunity to personally interact with the farmer who grows the produce.
  • The community: Many urban communities where fresh, nutritious foods are scarce gain easy access to food. Farmer's markets also help to promote nutrition education, wholesome eating habits, and better food preparation, as well as boosting the community's economy.

More National Farmer's Markets Facts


Farmer's Market Frequently Asked Questions

A: Potentially hazardous foods require licensing before selling at farmers markets. These foods include cut melon, raw seed sprouts, garlic in oil preserves, a food of animal origin that is raw or heated, and a food of plant origin that is heat-treated. Contact your local county sanitarian for more information on licensing requirements.

A: In general, vendors do not need a special license if they are selling raw and unprocessed farm products such as fruits and vegetables, baked goods, or fruit preserves. To learn more about health and safety regulations applying to farmer's markets, contact your county sanitarian.

A: Any products that include processing of the vegetables (canning, cooking, preserving, peeling, dicing, cutting, etc.) must be approved through the county sanitarian and licensed by the State Health Department before being sold to the public.

A: Baked goods that are NOT potentially hazardous foods subject to spoilage (breads, pastries, cookies, etc.) may be sold at farmer's markets without a license. Baked goods that require refrigeration (cream pies, cream filled pastries, cheesecakes, custard pies, etc.) are considered potentially hazardous and may NOT be sold at farmer's markets. With any questions, contact your county sanitarian.

A: Meat sellers who have processed their meat in a state inspected facility must then apply to the county sanitarian for a retail meat market license. Additional licensing may be required by the Montana Department of Livestock's Meat & Poultry Inspection Bureau depending on the situation, (406) 444-5202

A: Eggs are required to be kept under refrigeration at 45 degrees or cooler, and cannot be sold in reused cartons. Vendors are encouraged to contact their county sanitarian and the Montana Department of Livestock's Milk & Egg Inspection Bureau, (406) 444-2043.

A: A license is not required to sell fruit or berry jams, jellies, compotes, fruit butters, fruit syrups, marmalades, or similar products at farmer's markets. With any questions, contact your county sanitarian.

A: To claim products as "organic," the products must have been grown and handled according to national organic standards. Most operations' products must be "certified" organic before organic claims can be made. Contact the Montana Department of Agriculture's Organic Certification Program with questions, (406) 444-3730.

A: If vendors are selling products by weight, the scales used must be licensed and inspected annually by the Bureau of Weights & Measures, (406) 841-2240.

 

Farmers Market News

Capitol Square Farmers Market Kicks Off 2019 Season

Market officially starts 6/25 and will run 2:30-6:30 every Tuesday

Capitol Square Farmers Market Kicks Off 2019 Season

Helena, Mont. – Visitors to the State Capitol, state employees and local food lovers now have another opportunity to pick up fresh, local produce, Made in Montana products, and other goods during the week. The Capitol Square Farmers Market, sponsored by Allegiance Benefit Plan Management, will officially kick off it’s third season Tuesday June 25th from 2:30-6:30 pm in the Capitol south oval parking lot. Montana Department of Agriculture Director Ben Thomas will help kick things off by distributing reusable grocery bags to the first 50 attendees.

The Capitol Square Farmer’s Market will run every Tuesday (except holidays) from 2:30-6:30 pm. Those interested in being a vendor should contact Julia Gustafson, Capitol Square Market Manager at capitolsquarefarmersmarket@gmail.com.

The Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries. 

3rd Annual Montana Food Show set for September in Bozeman

Buyer registration now open

3rd Annual Montana Food Show set for September in Bozeman

Helena, Mont. – Over 100 Montana companies showcasing fresh produce, meats, foods, coffees, teas and more will be on full display at the Montana Department of Agriculture’s 3rd Annual Montana Food Show, slated for September 27, 2019 at the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse in Bozeman. The show will run from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and be open to both professional buyers and the public.

“We’ve been grateful to partner with and showcase Montana’s food companies at the Montana Food Show, and we’re looking forward to the third edition of the event this fall,” said Director Ben Thomas. “Interest in the event has grown each year, and we expect this year to be our biggest show yet.”

Funding Cycle Now Open for Growth Through Agriculture Program

Application Deadline is November 1, 2019 at 2:00 pm

Funding Cycle Now Open for Growth Through Agriculture Program

Helena, Mont. – Folks across Montana looking to create or expand their operation or agriculture business now have the opportunity to access state grant dollars, as the 2019 funding cycle for the Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) Program is open.

“Our Growth Through Agriculture program has provided Montana’s producers and small-business owners with vital funding to help create jobs in their communities and add value to our state’s ag products,” said Department of Agriculture Director, Ben Thomas. “With our ag industry becoming increasingly diverse, we are looking forward to seeing this next round of applications.”

Those interested in applying for GTA funds should visit www.gta.mt.gov and www.fundingmt.org for more information on how to apply.​

Angie Nelson
Business Development & Marketing

Phone : (406) 444-0134
Fax : (406) 444-9442
E-mail : ANelson@mt.gov
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601

 

Farmers Market Files

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