Commissioners agree to begin charging vendor fees at local farmer’s markets

Published 5:52 pm Tuesday, March 7, 2023

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Funds to cover advertising, hiring of staff

POLK COUNTY – At its Monday meeting on March 6, the Polk County Board of Commissioners approved a motion to begin charging for stalls at the Polk County Farmers Markets. 

The county will begin charging vendors $5 per stall per day to sell at its farmer’s markets, or $100 for an entire season. The seasonal fee guarantees vendors a designated stall. This is in contrast to Landrum’s Farmer Market, with a stall running daily at $15 a day, and $250 per year 

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Agricultural Economic Development Director Dawn Jordan proposed the changes to the farmer’s market policies and procedures, in order to cover the cost of advertising, as well as hire more staff to manage the markets. 

Commissioner Myron Yoder expressed how impressed he was with the services offered to vendors. 

Polk County has been providing stalls free of charge at the farmer’s markets. Advertising for the markets has been provided by the county as well, via the newsletter, social media, signs and banners. 

Jordan said that many vendors are impressed with the level of accommodation provided by the county, sharing with the board that a vendor recently told her, “I’ve never been to a farmer’s market where the staff offers you this much help.”

There was some slight disagreement among the board regarding the seasonal charge, but the motion passed under the condition that it could be reviewed at a later date, if necessary. 

The Columbus Market is currently operating on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month at Iron Key Brewing from 9 a.m. to noon. On the 2nd and 4th Saturdays, the Saluda Winter Market is held at the Saluda Center from 9 a.m. to noon. 

The Columbus Farmer Market and the Saluda Tailgate Market run from May to October.