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Farmers markets are held regularly throughout Montana with support from MDA and others

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.


2020 Season


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

Grants Available through the Montana Agriculture Adaptability Program (MTAAP) for Food and Ag Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 Crisis

Up to $10,000 available to small and medium-sized food & ag businesses intended to create additional economic activity and bolster food security

Grants Available through the Montana Agriculture Adaptability Program (MTAAP) for Food and Ag Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 Crisis

Montana Department of Agriculture, Montana Food and Agriculture Adaptability Program

Click Here to Apply


Grants are available to food and agriculture businesses to help increase community resilience amid the COVID 19 pandemic and other economic disruptions. Grants are intended to create additional economic activity and bolster food security. Examples of eligible projects include, but are not limited to, those focused on accessing new markets, projects which strengthen and expand local food systems, and other business adaptations that decrease food and agricultural waste. The need for such innovations must be driven by the COVID 19 pandemic. Total funding available is $500,000, with a maximum application amount of $10,000.
mtaap@mt.gov

 

Governor Bullock's Stay at Home Directive Identifies Food & Ag Essential Businesses and Operations

To curtail the spread of COVID-19, nonessential businesses and operations will close March 28 - April 10, 2020

Governor Bullock's Stay at Home Directive Identifies Food & Ag Essential Businesses and Operations

On March 26, Governor Bullock issued a directive requiring Montanans to stay home and temporarily close all nonessential businesses and operations to curtail the spread of COVID-19. The order, which takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on March 28 and will be in effect through April 10, identifies essential businesses and operations related to food and agriculture, as included in the sections shown below:

Click to view the  the Governor’s Directive Implementing Executive Orders 2-2020 and 3-2020.

Documents to download

Farm to Grocery: Meet the Buyers on March 23rd!

9 AM - 3 PM at the Great Northern Hotel in Helena, MT

Farm to Grocery: Meet the Buyers on March 23rd!

Are you a specialty crop producer, grocery store vendor, or interested community member? Join our convening to network and and discuss all things farm to grocery. How are purchasing agreements made? How is communication maintained? Will grocery stores require specific certifications, food safety practices, levels of insurance coverage, specific packaging etc.? What strategies can producers adopt to successfully market their crops to grocery stores? Learn the answers to these questions and more from our panelists, presenters, and fellow attendees.

Attendance is limited to the first 20 registrants. Registration is given on a first come, first served basis.

Click to learn more and register.

Charsi Workman
Marketing Officer

Phone : (406) 444-5425
Fax : (406) 444-9442
E-mail : farmersmarkets@mt.gov
302 N Roberts
Helena, MT 59601


Farmers Market Files

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