“Drake Road Farmers’ Market” in Fort Collins
The number of farmers’ markets across the United States has steadily been growing in recent years as more consumers become more interested in supporting local farmers and buying fresher produce. Well-run farmers’ markets are always fun and can be very educational. Agricultural land at the Front Range of Colorado is being transformed into shopping and housing at an alarming rate. More often than not residents may generally support agriculture, but lack knowledge of how to assist their local ranchers and farmers. Drake Road Farmers Market provides consumers the chance to support local ranchers and farmers by buying fresh products directly from the producers. Drake Road Farmers’ Market hopes to give local agricultural producers an opportunity to market their products, serve as a model for other communities, and encourage local production.
Vendors must follow a certain set of rules to be allowed to participate in Drake Road Farmers Market. All insurance/licenses/applications for membership must be postmarked by a certain date. You must also return your application by the required date for you to be allowed to sell at the market. All fees and dues should be paid at the time of application. Application for non-member vendors is also available throughout the season depending on available space. While all applications to the market are encouraged, the Board of Directors gives preference to unique locally produced products. Once an application is approved, a vendor is required to sign an application declaring that they will only sell products that they or members of their family produced locally. In addition, all the products bought from other Colorado producers for resale should adhere to the resale policy. The only exception to this rule is non-competitive products such as processed foods and western slope fruit (apricots, cherries, apples, pears, and peaches). Western Slope growers are not allowed to sell competitive products such as chilis, tomatoes, sweet corn, etc.
A few Processed Food Vendors ( food carts, beverages, coffee, snow cone, salsa, kettle corn, bread, etc.) are allowed to Drake Road Farmers Market depending on the uniqueness of their product and availability of space. Such vendors are required to have proper equipment and licenses from the Colorado Health Department and also need to comply with the guidelines set out by the Health Department.
Cottage Food Vendors are required to have an updated and current copy of the “Safe Food Handling” Course provided by the Department of Local Health. The cottage food should also be labeled according to Colorado guidelines. Any potential new vendor applying to sell at Drake Road Farmers Market can partici[pate as a non-member during Sundays at a fee of $10 and ten percent of their gross sales as well as all applicable sales tax. The fees for the Saturday and Wednesday market are five percent of gross sales plus all applicable sales taxes. All taxes and fees should be paid by Venmo or credit card or check. Vendors selling agricultural produce can also sell their craft items or those of family members.