Iowa Farmers
Market Association 


17th Annual Iowa
Farmers Market Workshop

9 am — 4 pm 

February 7
, 2015 

First Christian Church,
2500 University Ave., Des Moines

  • The workshop is for market managers, growers, vendors and organizers ... anyone involved in farmers markets or considering establishing a market. 
  • Registration is only $30 (through Jan. 28) and includes lunch and two breaks.
  • Call Barb Ristau, Treasurer, IFMA, at 641-456-4811 for more information. 
  • Click here for registration form

Workshop Presentation:

Farmers Markets Basics

Whether you’re a new or an experienced market manager, you’ll get tips on farmers market basics.

Making Market Magic

With a wave of the Market Manager's wand POOF! a Farmers Market happens!

To the public, this is what appears to happen.

But market folk know the reality behind the illusion: much work goes into the creation of a vibrant atmosphere that's conducive to robust vendor sales.

Market Magic takes solid research, innovative collaboration, strong
planning, and first-rate implementation.

Let's go behind the curtain to discover the secrets of creating and promoting a thriving market.

2014 Workshop Survey Results (pdf)

Plus updates and information from IDALS

IFMA Annual Meeting at 12:30



Are you a member of IFMA?
We Need You!

IFMA provides educational support for the Iowa Farmers Markets. The board has been involved with organizing the annual market managers/vendors workshop since 2001.

Before that, IDALS was solely responsible for the workshop. Today they have few staff members to provide education; IFMA has stepped up to be responsible for your educational opportunities.

This is your organization. We need everyone interested in farmers markets to help IFMA provide the education that new and established markets require. A first step is joining the association.

Become a Member

Cost of membership is $20 per year. Download an application here.

Two Types of Membership
*A market may become a member. (Only market members can vote at the Annual Meeting.) 

*An associate member...growers, vendors, suppliers, any one interested in Iowa's farmers markets.

Benefits of Membership:
*All members receive Country Folks Grower magazine at no charge.
*A membership card which will entitle you to $1 off purchase of IFMA merchandise.
*Listing of your market on the IFMA website.Board members have also written educational articles that were printed at various time during the year on this website.
*The ability to vote at the annual meeting (market members only).
Market members can run for the board.

IFMA Accomplishments:
*Obtained a $30,000 grant in 2002 that paid for the first vendor and customer survey of Iowa Farmers Markets to determine economic impact of farmers markets.
*In 2002 we assisted Barbara Lovitt to prepare a vegetable and fruit display near the Capital in celebration of National Farmers Market Week.
*Obtained trademark status for the slogan “Iowa Grown for You” and developed a logo.
*Provided an entry in the State Fair Parade in 2004 to promote National Farmers Market Week.
*Created a display at the 2008 Iowa State Fair Ag. Building show casing Farmers Markets.
*Obtained 501(c) (3) status in 2008 backdated effective in 2007.
*Hosted a three-day workshop together with the Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers and IDALS in 2009, and helped recruit several vendors for the trade show that was a part of that workshop.
*Assisted with manager/vendor workshops from the beginning, and in 2010 took over responsibility for the workshop.
*Provided t-shirts, aprons, visors and sweatshirts forpurchase advertising IFMA and Iowa Farmers Markets.
*Four of the nine initial board members are still serving on the board.
*Since obtaining the non-profit status the board has applied for several grants to use for educational opportunities. We received a grant in 2009 that paid for our speakers for the 2010 and 2011 workshops.
*Board members work very hard to find free gifts and other items to give away at our annual workshop. Harris Seeds has sponsored our last two years’ morning coffee breaks thanks to relationships the board has developed with their representatives.
*All of your board members are very budget conscious and have found facilities to host the yearly workshop that are inexpensive so as to keep your costs for attending the workshop low. Likewise, we try to keep the cost of meals down, yet still have tasty food.
*Recruited as many vendors as possible for a small trade show during the workshop.
*Developed a membership card so that all members have something tangible to display.
*Obtained a website for the Association at low cost. Everyone has access to it and markets are listed with their website (if available). IFMA gets lots of requests for information about farmers markets through the website.
*Ginny Gieseke at one time produced a newsletter for members. Currently all our news is published for free in the Country Folks Grower magazine which all members receive at no cost.
*Ambassadors for Farmers Markets. Donna Brahms has travelled to Nebraska and Kansas to meet with market managers about the role an association plays. Ginny Gieseke met with Russian officials to talk about farmers markets and the FM Nutrition Program.
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