During this time of year, Hoosiers are getting ready for area farmers markets, where locally grown or produced products are available for purchase and neighbors have the chance to reconnect. The farmers market season is an exciting time, as many vendors sell their homegrown and homemade goods. Last year, vendors struggled to sell their products because many farmers markets did not operate like normal, and they were not equipped to sell products virtually. Legislation I am working on would support home-based vendors by expanding the number of outlets to sell goods through.
Currently, home-based vendors are limited to selling their products at farmers markets or roadside stands, which can restrict their revenue. With this legislation, vendors would be able to sell their goods in person, remotely or through a third-party, like retailers, grocery stores and delivery services. Producers would be able to sell items such as uncut fruits and vegetables, and baked goods. This would give hardworking Hoosiers the chance to grow their customer base by having the opportunity to market their products year-round.
As Hoosiers prepare for the busy farmers market season, there are state and local resources also available to assist home-based vendors with marketing. Indiana Grown is a statewide branding initiative by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture focused on connecting Hoosiers with local producers selling products made or manufactured in Indiana. Regional shopping guides, recipes, locations of nearby farmers markets, trails and guides are available at IndianaGrown.org. Farmers, producers, processors, artisans, retailers, grocers and restaurants are all a part of the Indiana Grown network. Individuals interested in becoming a member can visit IndianaGrown.org to receive marketing assistance and gain access to an online market platform to sell products at ShopIndianaGrown.org.
Additionally, Purdue Extension offices can be a resource for local vendors. Information on community events, food and agriculture are available at extension.purdue.edu. Vendors can also learn more about farmers markets and food safety. Each county in Indiana has a Purdue Extension office. The Pike County office can be reached at 812-354-6838, the Spencer County office at 812-362-8066 and the Warrick County office at 812-897-6101.
Home-based vendors have a large impact on our local economy, and this legislation, along with other resources available, could help them by providing more options for selling their products. To learn more about this bill and others, visit iga.in.gov. If there is anything I can assist with, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-242-9769.