farmers market aggregation hub


Rochester Farmers Market Pivots to
Online Sales + Drive-Thru Pick-Up
in the COVID-19 Era

Apr 8, 2020, 1 – 3pm Central Time


Meeting Recording:
Rochester Farmers Market Online Sales and Pick Up

As concerns about COVID-19 grew, Jessica Joyce, Market Manager at the Rochester Farmers Marketanticipated that sales for her farmers could take a bit hit, even though the Saturday winter market would be open. Jessica determined that the market needed to pivot and pilot a drive-thru market with online ordering. As a partner in the Farmers' Market Hub project, there was a system in place to aggregate and sell products through an online platform. Jessica called on her colleague, Sara George, and together they launched a drive-thru market on Saturday, March 21, where over 120 customers purchased nearly $5,000 in product from 17 farmers. 
In this webinar, Jessica will go into details on this model, including what went well, what didn’t, and how they are adapting. Additional members of the Farmers’ Market Hub team will speak to issues of regulations and licensing, using an online platform, and revenue and costs associated with the model.

After the presentation on the model, we'll leave lots of time for questions.


This Webinar brought to you by the Farmers’ Market Hub Minnesota Farmers’ Market AssociationMinnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, and Renewing the Countryside and supported by a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant.

A win-win situation for small farmers and food services

Institutions and other buyers increasingly want to provide local food to their customers, as indicated in the 2015 Farm to School Census and surveys of MN rural grocers.


At the same time, small farmers struggle to expand their markets. While farmers’ markets provide a good outlet for sales, most farmers have excess produce at the end of market. Others would grow more produce if they had ready markets.

The needs and requirements don’t line up nicely. Small producers can’t supply enough to larger buyers.

Buyers don’t have the time or expertise to set up efficient systems to source local product.

What is needed is an aggregator that can pool enough local produce to supply wholesale buyers. Food hubs are one example, but most require significant capital investments for infrastructure and operating expenses.

Aggregation by a farmers’ market is a low-cost approach to address these challenges and requires limited infrastructure and staff.

To learn more, please explore the following websites -

For Buyers/Consumers:

For Market Managers:


This project is a partnership between Renewing the Countryside, the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA), the Minnesota Farmers Market Association (MFMA), and each community in which the hubs operating.