New farmers market policies

Published 12:27 pm Monday, March 9, 2020

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Polk approves new policies, including dates

COLUMBUS—Polk County has new policies and procedures for the Columbus Farmers Market and Polk County Winter Market. 

The Polk County Board of Commissioners met Monday and heard from Agriculture Economic Development Director Dawn Jordan about the new policies. 

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Polk County took over the farmers market last year with the Saturday market operated under the Agricultural Economic Development Office. 

Most of the changes to the policies were dates of the market. The new policy includes that the farmers market will now operate on Saturdays from the first Saturday in April until the last Saturday in October. The previous dates were until the third Saturday in November, with Jordan saying the temperatures make those dates difficult in November. 

The Polk Winter Market will now be held from November through March, with the current winter market on Saturdays held at the Rural Seed restaurant in Columbus. 

The spring/summer market is held on Courthouse Street downtown. 

Other additions to the policies and procedures include that vendor fees will be determined yearly as a part of the annual budget process. 

Smoking restrictions were also added to include no smoking allowed at the Polk Winter Market. 

The Columbus Farmers Market is held from 8 a.m.-12 noon on Saturdays from April through October and the Winter Market is held from 9 a.m.-12 noon on Saturdays from November through March. 

Commissioner vice chair Tommy Melton asked if there was a commissioner on the agricultural board. Commissioner Ray Gasperson serves on the board, with Gasperson saying the board accomplished a lot in the last year. 

Commissioner chair Myron Yoder asked about not charging vendor fees this year. Jordan said the board is currently discussing fees and plans to speak with vendors regarding what the county should spend the fees on, which will likely be mostly for advertising.