Municipalities and Farmers' Markets

Del Williams delannw at dlogue.net
Mon May 28 12:42:12 EDT 2001


Terry, I think that we are a good example of cooperative development of a
farmers' market.  You could contact Timothy Schmidt (815-933-0506) at the
City of Kankakee Economic & Community Development Agency if you wished to
speak with him about Kankakee's support of our downtown market.  Along with
the USDA Farm Service Agency in Bourbonnais, IL (Merrill Marxman), the
support of the city has been very important.  In addition, Mr. Marxman has
been instrumental in helping us find business sponsors or partners who have
helped provide funds for market promotion.

Now in our third year, we have developed from a 10 vendor to 27 vendor
market.  It was the connection and influence of these gentlemen that helped
with community business support, a market manager, locations for market
meetings, office support, media promotions, market location, finding
committed vendors, running interference with state regulating agencies, etc.

I think that their views of the market's long term development are exactly
what the vendors needed.  The growers and producers who sell at the market
have a somewhat different view and focus.  While we do what we do best -
bring quality goods to the market - our local city and USDA supporters see

an even broader picture for the benefit of the greater Kankakee area and for
the development of rather small local agricultural producers.

I'm not sure about the sales tax laws in Texas but one aspect of the market
is it's contribution to the local tax base in several ways.  A portion of
sales taxes will go to the locality.  Developing farms and farm products
only helps to keep farms productive and contributing to the local tax base.
The market also directly and indirectly contributes to promoting downtown
businesses.  We bring people downtown.

This year we will start a harvest festival that will bring some tourism
business to the area.  I know Austin already has plenty of that but a
farmers' market can be strategically located and developed to promote
tourism.

Finally, our market association gets several requests each year for the
market to sell at other county festivals and events.  In other words, we are
an attraction to other localities as well.

Hope this helps.

Del Williams
Farmer in the Del
Clifton IL





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