Handbook for Small and Direct Marketing Farms

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Handbook for Small Farm and Direct Marketing Farms

Regional Markets Program Lead: Laura Raymond
General Phone: (206) 256-6157 

Getting Connected

Where should you go for help with your small farm or food-related business? This section covers ways to learn about everything from classes and workshops to field days and conferences. A host of organizations, including non-profits, government agencies, schools and industry-specific groups work hard to provide these resources. This section covers how to link up with these efforts, much of it also available in Spanish and Hmong.

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Running a Successful Farm Business

Like any business owner, farmers and those running farm-related businesses need to have the right licenses, pay the proper taxes, get the necessary insurance and be sure to have the financing to make their operation a success. This section covers all this as well as laws related to employees and labor.

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Direct Marketing Strategies

One thing any business needs is customers. This section offers resources to help you find those customers and grow your business. Facts sheets cover selling to schools, restaurants, grocery stores and co-ops. Getting into agritourism, creating buyer's clubs and even donating to food banks are also included in this section.

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Voluntary Certifications

Organic certification may be the best known of the certifications available to growers and food-related businesses. But there are several other possible labels available. Which ones best inform your customers about your products, your values and your priorities? This section explains some of the more common certifications, what's involved in obtaining them, and where to learn more about them.

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Regulations for Food Processing

Are you a food processor, thinking of becoming one, or just not sure if the preparation of your product qualifies as food processing? Get the answers you need in this section, which covers everything from licensing requirements to where help can be found. Cottage Food permits, product recalls, and the new federal food safety rules are also covered.

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Regulations for Specific Products

Some products, such as nuts, eggs, alcoholic beverages, lotions and cosmetics, have specific regulations that govern how they're handled, who can sell them, where their sold and a host of other aspects. Learn more about the various requirements for these and other specific products in this section.

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