COMO YOU KNOW: Columbia Farmers' Market

Monday, April 30, 2012 | 7:54 p.m. CDT; updated 7:44 p.m. CDT, Friday, May 9, 2014

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The Columbia Farmers' Market is a producer-only market at the city’s Activity and Recreation Center. The market currently has more than 90 vendors from within a radius of 55 miles of the city that sell produce, crafts, plants and more. The market accepts debit cards and Electronic Benefit Transfer cards.



Phone: (573) 823-6889


Location, days and hours of operation: The main market time is Saturday morning in the Activity and Recreation Center parking lot, but locations, days and hours vary depending on the season.

Mission: The mission of the Columbia Farmers' Market is to provide both the local farmer and consumer a reliable, regulated marketplace for the direct exchange of high quality and safe food. By facilitating such commerce, the market strives to meet the needs of the local consumer while encouraging sustainable agriculture in mid-Missouri.

Full text

The Columbia Farmers Market is a producer-only market at the city’s Activity and Recreation Center. The market currently has more than 90 vendors from within a radius of 55 miles of the city to sell food, crafts, plants and more. Over the last few years, the market's weekend customer counts regularly surpass 4,000, according to its website.

The market was first organized in 1980 at the County Fairgrounds in Columbia, now the site of the ARC. In 1992, the fair moved to its current location north of Columbia, and the market moved to Parkade Plaza. In 1995, the city of Columbia purchased the old fairgrounds and the market returned to its current location.

Since the late 1990s, Sustainable Farms and Communities has tried to develop a plan for building a permanent pavilion on-site. The goal of the Columbia Farmers' Market Pavilion is to build a permanent, roofed structure at the current market location that can be used to house both the market and larger community events, like weddings and festivals. In recent years, the pavilion has faced problems with low funding.

In September 2009, the farmers market received more than $57,000 in grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to promote the market’s participation in the Food Stamps Program. The market accepts Electronic Benefit Transfer, or EBT, cards. These cards act as a debit card for food stamp benefits and allow those on federal assistance to purchase food authorized by the program. The market does not accept credit cards.

In 2012, the Columbia City Council passed a contract with the Columbia Farmers' Market to provide two buses, stopping through west-central and central Columbia, to the Columbia Farmers' Market, paid for through a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant for $41,791.

The Columbia Farmers' Market is different from the Boone County Farmer's Market, which was started in 2003.

Links and sources

Columbia Farmers Market website 

Columbia Farmers Market gets some $57,000 from USDA

Campaign for outdoor farmers market pavilion faces low funding

City to begin bus service to Columbia Farmers' Market

Updated: April 30, 2012

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