2024 Guidelines and Procedures

OUR MISSION

  • Foster a vibrant market supporting local growers, food producers, makers and artisans

  • Ensure our community has access from a central location to a wide array of high quality, locally grown and produced food

  • Encourage the growing and consumption of local foods and to promote the economy of Pontotoc County Trade area (The Pontotoc Trade area is defined as Pontotoc County and those counties that border Pontotoc County-Lafayette, Union, Lee, Chickasaw and Calhoun)

WHEN AND WHERE

The Pontotoc Farmers Market (“Market”) is held every Saturday, from 7am to 11am or until sellout from May through October and a mid-week market from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm during June through August.  The Market is located at 25 West Jefferson, Pontotoc, MS 38863.  Vendors should be ready to start selling when the Market opens.  Vendors may sell at the venue outside of market hours with the permission of the Market Manager and provided the venue is not rented otherwise by The Chamber of Commerce. Pontotoc Bodock Festival Weekend, The Market will run from 7am-10am and consist of Produce only.

BECOMING A VENDOR

All vendors must fill out and sign an application yearly.  By signing the application, the vendor certifies that the vendor’s main operator/seller has read, understood and agreed to adhere to all applicable guidelines and procedures.  At this time, there is no fee to register as a vendor and no fee to sell at the Market.  Vendors will be accepted in accordance with these guidelines.  Applications may be submitted online through pontotocfarmersmarket.com or emailed to [email protected].  Apply in person or mail copy to:

Pontotoc Farmers’ Market

c/o Pontotoc Chamber of Commerce

109 North Main Street

Pontotoc, MS 38863

For questions, please call or text the Market Manager at 662-760-6703 or send email to [email protected].

VENDOR GUIDELINES

  1. Original Producer:  All items sold must be grown or produced within the Pontotoc Trade Area of Pontotoc County, Lafayettåe, Union, Lee, Chickasaw and Calhoun and vendors must be the original grower or producer or be engaged in a direct cooperative arrangement approved by the Market Manager.  If a cooperative agreement is approved, the Market Manager has authority to require the vendor label products according to origin.  Priority will be given to those vendors who grow, raise or harvest local products that they sell or that are featured in the items they sell.  Vendors may only sell the items they have been approved to sell.

  2. Permitted Vendors: Pontotoc Farmers Market permits the following as vendors: Fresh Produce, Eggs, Honey/Syrup, Baked Goods/Processed Foods (Cottage Foods), Meats, Only the following small animals: Chickens (see permits and licenses)

  3. Conduct: Vendors must be honest and are required to conduct themselves in a manner that contributes to a positive shopping experience for Market customers and should avoid unsuitable language, crude jokes and other inappropriate behavior. No smoking or consumption of alcoholic beverages is permitted at the Market. Vendors are required to remain kind and courteous to all fellow vendors.  Market management will strive to create an atmosphere where seasoned farmers and producers can mentor new growers.

  4. No Discrimination:  No vendor, market manager, chamber member or employee may discriminate on the basis of race, creed, religion, age, color, disability, sex or national origin in selling or conducting activities at the market.

  5. Pricing:  Vendors set their own prices for their products; however, radical price cutting of top-quality ag products is prohibited.  All scales used are subject to inspection.  Poor quality or overripe produce can be sold for a discounted price and should be labeled as such.  Exchanges of product and/or refunds are at the vendor’s discretion.

  6. Sales Tax:  See Miss. Code § 27-65-103(f).  Exemptions; Agricultural.

    -Vendors selling homegrown Mississippi produce (grown by the vendor), Mississippi home processed foods (made by the vendor), from a MDAC certified market, are exempt from the collection of sales tax.

    -Home processed food vendors that are an extension of an established retail food outlet are not exempt from remitting sales tax.

    -OUR MARKET DOES NOT COLLECT OR REMIT SALES TAX.

    -Retail vendors, crafts/artisans must be handmade, handcrafted art and are required to file appropriate sales tax.

  7. Stall Space: Vendors may choose any space that is available at the time they arrive; however, the Market Manager will organize stalls and tent space weekly as needed.  Effort will be made to keep vendor space consistent.  Please be courteous and cooperate with other vendors if space sharing is needed.  Vendors are encouraged to post a business sign or farm name in their display area.  A vendor space is considered to be the approximate width of a vehicle.

  8. Electricity:  Vendors must inform the Market Manager of their electrical needs and receive prior approval before using any existing electrical outlets at the Market.  If extension cords are used, they must be designed for outdoor use, be three-prong, safely secured at all times and out of the way of foot traffic.

  9. Supplies:  Each farm/business will be responsible for bringing needed supplies such as: tables, tablecloths, chairs, scales, signage, price lists, marketing materials and change, food sampling supplies and will assume liability responsibility for any food tasting.

  10. Permits and Licenses: All vendors selling at the Market must abide by all applicable federal, state, and local health regulations.  All required permits and licenses must be kept current for the entire market season. See Mississippi Certified Farmers Market Permits and Requirements for Vendors.

  11. Advertising and Labeling:  Vendors must advertise truthfully and respond to customers’ questions in a like manner.  Certification is required to use the labels “Certified Organic” and “Certified Naturally Grown.”

  12. Clean Up: Each vendor is responsible for maintaining their area in a clean and sanitary manner with attention to public safety.  Before departure, each vendor must clean all trash and unsold products, sweep any debris, and take down and store market tent, if using.

  13. Order of Priority for Accepting Vendor Applications: The market’s goal is to retain an approximate ratio of 50% produce growers; 20% ag producers, 20% cottage food makers and 10% artisans, makers and crafters(these vendors can rotate out according to number of applicants).  Priority is given to growers who bring product to market that is 100% grown and harvested on farmland they own/lease and operate.  Priority will also be given to Pontotoc residents and those using locally sourced ingredients in prepared or artisan foods.  Artisans and makers are selected based on whether the product is useful in the home, farm or garden, the originality and quality of the product and the need to avoid duplication.  Vendor selection and retention is the role of the Market Manager following these guidelines.

  14. Liability: The Market recommends that vendors carry liability insurance, however it is not required.  All vendors must agree in writing to indemnify and hold harmless the City of Pontotoc and their property, the Pontotoc County Chamber of Commerce/Main Street Association and the Pontotoc Farmers Market from all claims, demands, actions causes of action and defense costs thereof. This statement holds true for any vendor’s food preparation process and or sampling at The Market.

  15. Youth Market: For vendors 18 years of age and younger participating in our Youth Market, market management will assist youth vendors on market day if necessary or enlist a mentor farmer to help. Youth will be responsible for their products and change. Signage, additional price labels, additional displays and samples are optional for youth.

MARKET MANAGEMENT

Steering Committee:  The Farmers Market is a program of the Pontotoc Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Association (“Chamber”) and under the direction of The Chamber of Commerce/Main Street Board of Directors.  The Market Steering Committee guides decision-making for the Market and then must be approved by The Chamber Board of Directors.  The Steering Committee is chaired by the Market Manager along with appointed co-chairs representing each of the areas of vendors.  The Steering Committee may discuss policies, rules and regulations for the Market, present them to the Chamber/Main Street Board for approval.  If required in the future, the Committee may establish a voting protocol to elect members to the Steering Committee.  Other members of the Committee are: Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Chamber of Commerce Board Member, City and County Representative, MSU Extension Agent, Market staff. The Steering Committee will meet at least three times a year~ Prior to market opening, Mid-Market, and Post-Market with all financial information, proposed activities, updates and decisions presented to the Chamber/Main Street Board of Directors for approval. The Market job descriptions, and where applicable, rate of pay for staff will be determined by The Chamber Board of Directors.

Market Manager:  The Market Manager will serve as the Steering Committee’s representative at Market as well as fulfilling the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Oversee day-to-day operations of Market
  • Admit vendors and organize spaces
  • Arrive 1 hour prior to Market and stay to end
  • Arrange for special events and entertainment at the Market and will communicate with The Chamber about events to not overlap ongoings of the City/County
  • Participate in farm visits as needed
  • Appoint staff as needed and as budget permits
  • Maintain log(s) and books of Market activity and present bank statements monthly to The Chamber Board for review
  • Facilitate expenditures and communication with Chamber Director. The Farmers Market Bank account will have Market Manager, Chamber Director and Chamber Events Coordinator as signers on account. Two signatures will be required on account.
  • Responsible for adhering to and enforcing policies and procedures as well as communicating with the Chamber Director any significant findings, concerns or proposed edits to be conveyed to the Chamber Board of Directors.
  • Submit the list of all vendors and their products to The Chamber of Commerce 
  • Address comments/complaints from vendors and customers
  • Submit press releases and Market calendar events to local media as needed
  • Coordinate advertising and publicity for the Market, including social media
  • Promote and oversee nutrition incentive programs at Market
  • Oversee administration of Market and work alongside Chamber on awarded grants. Grants will have The Chamber/Main Street Board approval and will be dispersed through the Chamber/Main Street portal and account. 
  • Ultimately the goal is for the Farmers Market to sustain for years to come and policies and procedures are in place for financial, communication and procedural accountability.

AMENDMENT OF GUIDELINES

These Guidelines and Procedures may only be amended or edited by approval of The Pontotoc Chamber and Main Street Board of Directors. Vendors may submit to the Market Manager in writing his or her comments or proposed amendments or edits to these Guidelines and Procedures.

If you agree with our Vendor Guidelines, let’s get started!  Click below to apply online.  Rather fill out in person?  Visit the Pontotoc County Chamber Main Street, 109 North Main Street, Pontotoc MS.

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