AFM RULES AND BY-LAWS
These rules are in effect at all times for all Athens Farmers Markets and are enforced by the Market Manager or a designated Assistant Manager or Officer.
Locally: 150 Mile radius of Athens, Ohio.
Grower: A person or an organization that raises their own agricultural products locally. *Raise – producing the products on a farm or portion of the grower owns or rents, where they make the day to day decisions.
Processor: A member who uses some locally grown ingredients and locally processes those ingredients into finished products.
MARKET CALENDAR AND SCHEDULE
The Market year is April 1 to March 31; annual fees paid by producers cover this period. Winter Indoor Market dates are December through March. Vendors are allowed to set up inside and/or outside during the month of December ONLY.
Producers may sell at the Athens Farmers Market only on announced days of the market: Wednesdays from 9am to 12pm, and Saturdays from 9am to 12 pm, or other days and times determined by the executive committee.
The Market shall be opened for selling by the Manager, using a bell or other signal. There will be no sales prior to the opening of the market, except the managers and producers of the market may buy before the opening time. Exceptions may be made by the Market Manager.
3.1) Manager may impose a fine of $20 for selling early and $50 for not being off lot by 12:30 pm on Saturdays and Wednesdays.
The Saturday market operates year round. The Wednesday market begins in April and closes in December on dates otherwise determined by the Executive Committee.
Market days will be cancelled when there is a level 3 emergency announced by the Athens County government or for other emergency situations.
Membership fees are $225.00 annually, plus $200 for a single stall, $800 for one-and-one-half stalls, and $1200 for two stalls.
Producers holding assigned stalls must pay the annual stall fee no later than 2 weeks after the annual meeting (held in fourth quarter of the market year.) Failure to pay fees by this date will result in the producer losing the stall assignment.
Two producers may share one stall so long as each producer or employee is present at the market. Each pay half the fee for the stall.
Producers who claim financial hardship may pay the annual stall fee in three installments, with payment to be completed within two months of the initial commitment and payment. At least one payment must be made no later than two weeks after the annual meeting if the producer wishes to retain a stall assignment.
Associate members fees are $200 annually, plus $100 for a single stall.
ARRIVAL, SET-UP, AND DEPARTURE
Producers at the Athens Farmers Market are to park only in the area specified by the Market Manager. Producers with assigned stalls shall occupy only those stalls. All unassigned or vacant stalls will be assigned for the day by the Market Manager.
Producers shall arrive at the market in time to set up and be ready for customers at opening time. Producers arriving at the market after 8:30 am will be admitted only at the discretion of the Market Manager.
12.1) Vendors using tents or shelters must have them tied down securely with weights by start of every market. Subject to approval by the manager.
Each producer shall display a sign stating the producer’s name and location and shall have their prices displayed
Producers must remove unsold produce and clean up their stalls before leaving the market. A fine not to exceed $25 may be imposed by the Executive Committee for violation of this rule.
PRODUCTS AND SALES
A grower is a person or organization who raises (see definitions) his/her own products on his/her own farm or portion of and: contracts for them to be processed, processes the products him/her self, or sells the products as harvested. A processor purchases local ingredients where feasible and locally processes them into finished products themselves and sells them at the Market pursuant to all other Market rules and/or governmental regulations. Processor includes producers required to have a Mobile Food Service license. . Producers may not sell as a franchise or use franchise trademarks, logos, etc., at the market.
15A)Any processor, when asked by a customer about a product’s composition, must fully disclose the ingredients and the origins of ingredients to the best of his/her knowledge.
15B) If there is an area wide crop failure of peaches or apples and there are none available from AFM fruit vendors, AFM vendors who normally produce peaches and apples may bring in fruit they have not grown for resale until market member peaches and apples are available again. The resale peaches or apples must be labeled as such.
16) The following actions are not considered either growing or processing: packaging, aging, shaping, portioning, cleaning/washing, purchasing, transporting/distribution, coloring or decoration, aerating, or carbonating. Further, these are only examples and any other action will be judged separately and provided in writing to producers of the market.
Radical price cutting of top quality produce is prohibited. Poor quality or overripe produce must be labeled as such and can be sold for a discounted price.
Selling of dairy products, eggs, meats, canned goods, and other processed or potentially hazardous products must meet all legal requirements.
18A) A grower who sells meat cuts must own and raise (see definitions and Rule 15) the animal from which the cuts come for a minimum of 50% of the animals life. Processed meat products (such as sausage) fall under the processing rules in rules 15 and 16.
18B) State licensed processing facilities are not permitted to sell at the market.
Producers must comply with all laws, ordinances, and regulations of the United States, State of Ohio and City of Athens. Producers must obtain all licenses or certifications so required, and these must be displayed at the market.
The Market Manager has discretion to allow solicitation, entertainment, informational and advocacy activities, but such activities must not obstruct customer aisles or occupy stalls needed for selling by market producers. Producers may use their own stall for advocacy or informational displays.
With the exception of disability service animals, pets are not allowed in the market area. An exception will be made for non-service pets that must be continuously carried while at market.
Vendors may sell promotional swag at their booths as long as these items take up no more than 5% of their retail space.
NON-FOOD AGRICULTURAL AND FOREST ITEMS
The selling of Non-food agricultural and forest items is permissible at the Athens Farmer’s Market. These items are defined as a handmade product produced personally by a member of the Athens Farmer’s Market which has primary components of an agricultural nature grown or produced by the member. Examples include: beeswax candles, brooms, and flower arrangements. Items made primarily from purchased components are not eligible for sale at the market.
Wood products must meet the above criteria but are limited to products which are intended for use in the preparation or consumption of food. Examples include rolling pins, cutting boards, bowls, and serving spoons.
In order to preserve the Athens Farmer’s Market as primarily a farm market venue, the board may—at its discretion—limit the number of new Non-food agricultural and forest items which may be sold at the market.
Non-food agricultural and forest items currently being sold at the market as of the date of the adoption of this rule are considered eligible and are allowed for sale at the market.
STALL ASSIGNMENTS AND SENIORITY
Producers may hold an assigned stall space at the market. Stall assignment shall be made by seniority in market membership. The treasurer shall maintain a list of all producers by seniority and make this list available at the annual meeting.
Producers shall have the right to retain an assigned stall space the next year provided they participate in the market at least twelve times during the year, notify the Treasurer of their intent to continue by the annual meeting and pay fees as provided in these Rules. The Executive Committee may waive the attendance requirement for hardships such as crop failure, prolonged illness, or other good cause.
Producers holding assigned stalls who wish to change location or size must notify the Treasurer. Further assignment of vacant stalls shall be made by the Executive Committee by seniority from the list of unassigned producers who have paid the full fee.
29A) If an AFM stall holder sells their farm or business the new owner must re-apply for market membership and does not inherit the old owners stall assignment or seniority.
Exception – If the new prospective owner joins the farm or business they hope to buy or inherit in some official capacity such as an employee or business partner, and if they are so named on the annual AFM registration form for at least two consecutive market years, then they can retain the old owners stall assignment and seniority.
A producers’ seniority shall date from the first date on which the producer attended the market, providing the full membership and stall fees were paid at that time. Seniority for producers who elect to pay in installments shall date from the date of the last installment payment. A producer retains seniority by paying the full membership and stall fees each year.
Producers who joined the market prior to 2003 shall be considered to hold equal seniority with all other producers who began in the same year, since past market records do not permit us to ascertain actual dates on which members began.
In the event two or more producers have equal seniority and sufficient stalls are not available for assignment, the executive committee shall select the producer for assignment randomly.
ENFORCEMENT AND VIOLATIONS
Producers or customers who suspect that another producer is violating any market rules should report the matter to the Market Manager. Producers should not attempt to address violations themselves. Suspected violations of rules governing product eligibility will be handled according to the Procedure of Violations of Product Eligibility at Market, which appears in the Member Handbook.
Violations of any market rules will be dealt with by the market Manager, or, in the absence of the manager, a designated officer or member of the EC.
A complaint form along with a $30.00 inspection fee may be submitted to the market Manager in person or anonymously. If a violation is found, the violator must reimburse the $30.00 fee to the person who submitted the complaint. The market Manager or other deemed person(s) of the EC may make unannounced inspection(s) to the farm or business to verify compliance with market rules and bylaws. An inspection may include, but not be limited to, property ownership, seed and fertilizer purchases and planting dates.
Failure to allow such inspection(s) will constitute one violation and a written warning notice will be given to the producer. Within two weeks following the first written warning being given another attempt will be made for another inspection. If the producer fails to allow this second inspection a second written warning will be issued to the producer. The market president shall convene the EC to vote on the question of expelling the producer from the market.
An expelled producer can be reinstated at the next annual meeting by receiving a 2/3 vote of the members present. The producer forfeits any assigned stall and seniority upon expulsion and may rejoin the market as a new member.
Vendors are required to provide liability insurance listing Athens Farmers Market as additional insured for at least one million dollars coverage.
WAITING LIST/PRODUCTS SOLD
Current Vendors: continue with current products.
Waiting List: list of prospective vendors to be maintained by the Market Manager.
Products Sold: the board will decide additional processed products that may be sold.
These rules may be amended by a majority vote of members attending any regular or special meeting of the Athens Farmers Market Association.
The name of this organization shall be the Athens Farmers Market.
ARTICLE II. PURPOSE AND POWERS
Section 1. The Athens Farmers Market shall operate on a not for profit basis. It shall serve its members and the public through education on the benefits to the community that result from supporting a locally based food economy and by providing a public market allowing direct connections between producers and consumers of local food and agricultural products.
Section 2. The Athens Farmers Market shall impose fees and rules only insofar as necessary for realizing the purposes stated in Section 1.
Section 3. The Athens Farmers Market shall uphold equal employment opportunity laws.
ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Membership and voting privileges shall accrue to those producers who have paid the full membership fee for the current organizational year defined in its rules. A producer may be an individual, farm, or business. Each producer receives one vote.
Section 1A. One proxy vote for one producer. The proxy cannot be someone who is already voting. Each proxy can only represent one producer.
Section 2. Associate members may sell on any announced market days except Saturdays from
April 1 – November 1.
ARTICLE IV. GOVERNANCE
Section 1. There shall be an Executive Committee composed of 9 members with terms of 3 years elected at the annual spring meeting. The Executive Committee shall have the power to enforce market rules, empower committees, resolve interim questions arising from the operation of the market, and to contract for the management of the market.
Section 2. Elected officers. A President, Vice President, and Treasurer shall be elected by the executive committee at it first meeting following the annual membership meeting or following a special meeting held in its place thereof. The executive committee at its discretion may elect other officers.
Section 3. Elected positions shall be chosen at the annual business meeting by majority vote of the members present. Elections shall be held by a method allowing confidential balloting. Vacancies in elected positions may be filled by the Executive Committee until the next election.
Section 3.1: Any member wishing to run for the executive committee may notify the manager or president 6 weeks prior to the annual business meeting. All candidates’ names and a short bio will be included in the notice sent out to the membership. Write-in nominations will also be accepted at the meeting.
Section 4. The President shall preside at all meetings and carry out the duties assigned in the bylaws, rules, or actions of the organization. The President shall have the power to call Executive Committee meetings. In the absence or incapacity of the President, the Vice President shall fulfill these duties.
Section 5. The rules governing the organization shall be voted upon by the membership at an annual or special meeting and shall be in effect at all times.
Section 6. The Secretary shall be responsible for maintaining minutes and records of the association and shall be chosen by the Executive Committee.
Section 7. The Treasurer shall be responsible for maintaining the financial reports and obligations of the organization.
ARTICLE V. MEETINGS
Section 1. This organization shall hold an annual business meeting in the final quarter of the organizational year as defined in its rules. Members shall be given at least two weeks’ advance notice of the meeting time and place.
Section 2. A majority of the members present shall constitute a quorum.
Section 3. Special meetings may be called by the President or upon the written request of 25 percent of the members. Before a special meeting can be held, each member must receive a written notice which includes the time, date, and location of the meeting and the exact items of business to be considered.
Section 4. The parliamentary code for this organization shall be Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised.
ARTICLE VI. FINANCES
Section 1. This organization’s fees shall be proposed by the Executive Committee and voted on at the annual meeting.
Section 2. The monies of the organization shall be managed by the Treasurer with the approval of the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE VII. AMENDING AND SUSPENDING
Section 1. The Bylaws of this organization may be amended or suspended by a two-thirds vote of the members present. All members must be given notice of the meeting and the proposed amendments at least two weeks prior to the meeting.
ARTICLE VII. DISSOLUTION
Section 1. This organization may be dissolved at a regular or special member meeting by a two-thirds vote of the members present.
Section 2. Upon dissolution of this organization, assets shall be distributed for one or more public purposes to the City of Athens.