2019 Application and Guideline Updates Coming March 2019

Please read carefully as our guidelines have changed as of March 15th, 2018.


Statement of Purpose

The Red River Market [RRM] is committed to growing and supporting the local food system by creating a space for the community to gather and enjoy local food. The RRM strives to support small to mid-size farms and new and emerging food businesses, to increase access to fresh, locally grown produce, to be a good steward of the planet, and to create a sense of place where all are welcome.

Application Process & Requirements

Those wishing to participate in the RRM must complete an application form and make the appropriate vendor payment before selling at the Market. The application and payment system can be found online at www.redriver.market. RRM managers will review the application for approval/denial. 

Product Guidelines

Eligible Products

Products sold by vendors need to be grown or made by the vendor within 200 miles of RRM.
The following items are approved for sale:

  • Vendor grown fresh fruits and vegetables

  • Vendor grown herbs and spices

  • Vendor produced farmstead products such as eggs (as long as kept at 41°F), baked goods, canned goods, honey, maple syrup, dried pasta and preserves, if prepared and packaged in accordance with rules established by the ND Department of Agriculture/Fargo Cass Public Health Office.

  • Vendor grown bedding plants, hanging and potted plants, and cut flowers

  • Vendor grown dried flowers or plants

  • Vendor-made crafts and artwork

  • Vendor-made health and body care products

  • Home-Processed, Home-Canned and Home-Baked foods: see below Prepared Food section for more information

  • Organic - All vendors advertising and selling organic products must submit a copy of their current Organic Certification and renew each year. Only USDA certified organic growers may display signs using the word “organic.”

The following may not be sold without a license: fish, dairy, poultry, and meat products which include smoked fish, butter, milk, and jerky, and potentially hazardous products such flavored oils.

Organic - All vendors advertising and selling organic products must submit a copy of their current Organic Certification and renew each year. Only USDA certified organic growers may display signs using the word “organic.”

Samples- Market food samples must be prepared/presented in a safe and sanitary manner, according to the state Department of Health code and the direction of RRM management. The vendor must provide a trash receptacle for the disposal of any sampling materials, such as cups, utensils or toothpicks. Sample materials must comply with RRM Landfill Free Policy, See the Landfill Free Policy - Disposable Materials section below for detials.


Prepared Foods

RRM strives to maintain a high level of quality at all markets, and any new producers of prepared foods, baked goods, or value-added products must supply ingredient list (including origin of products) and samples upon request prior to acceptance to RRM. Preference will be given to vendors who source high-quality ingredients from local farms or other local-direct sources. 

  • Baked Goods: Baked goods sold at market should highlight regional produce and seasonal ingredients. Bakers who use local eggs, grain, butter and dairy are given preference over those who source nationally. No commercial mixes, crusts or fillings may be used.

    • Bakery goods which require time and temperature controls for safety, such as cream, custard, meringue toppings, cheesecake, pumpkin pie, cream cheese icings or fillings, etc., are allowed for sale, including uncooked dough products, as long as items are properly labeled with handling instructions, are transported and maintained frozen in addition to displaying the required consumer advisory either on the label or conspicuous sign posted at the point of sale.

  • Canned Fruits and Vegetables: Canned fruits and vegetables must be from the farmer’s own produce. If processed off-farm, the farmer must supply RRM with the name, address, and telephone number for the facility where the produce is processed. Canned fruits and vegetables made from produce not grown by the producer but sourced locally will be admitted on a case-by-case basis.

    • ALLOWED: Canned foods that have a natural pH of 4.6 or less and acidified foods that have acid(s) or acid(s) foods added.

    • The individual who is selling home-processed, home-canned and home-baked foods under this exemption should have available, upon request of the regulatory authority, the product’s recipe and/or pH results. The seller must display a sign or placard at the point of sale which states: “These canned goods/baked goods are homemade and not subject to state inspection.”

    • Persons producing and selling these products are encouraged to have the recipe and manufacturing process reviewed by a person knowledgeable in the food canning/processing industry and recognized as a process authority.

  • Honey: Honey must be from the farmer/grower’s own hives, but may be processed off-farm. The farmer/grower must provide RRM management with the name, address, and telephone number of the facility where the honey is processed.

  • Preserves, Pesto, Jams, Fruit Butters, Syrups, Purees, Salsas: Preference will be given to farmers/growers making these products from fresh fruits and vegetables grown on their farm. However, artisanal products in this category will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

  • Coffee and Tea: Preference will be given to vendors who roast their coffee beans locally. Preference will be given to vendors who are creating their own tea blends.

  • Labeling Requirements: Each food container and/or food item sold must include the ingredient list visible at point of sale, and the following statement using a font size that is prominent, conspicuous, and easy to read: “These food products were produced in an un-inspected home kitchen where major food allergens may also have been handled and prepared, such as tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, soy, wheat, milk, fish, and crustacean shellfish.”

For purveyors applying for a season pass in the categories of produce, ready to eat, bakery, pantry, household goods or floral, at least 80% of retail space must be devoted to these items. 

If you have questions about eligible products, labelling or other food safety related questions, please contact: Fargo Cass Public Health, Environmental Health Division at 701-476-6729.

Prohibited Products

  • Live birds or live animals

  • Products purchased by a seller that have not been approved by Fargo Cass Environmental Health Division (sodas, water, coffee, and tea)

  • Products processed and sold under a brand name other than the vendor’s are not allowed unless approved by market management

  • Potentially hazardous foods including but not limited to: cut melons, cut leafy greens, and cut tomatoes

  • Nut butters of any kind

  • Certain home-processed or home-canned foods, such as home-canned fish, pickled eggs, and home-canned meat

  • Home-baked foods that require refrigeration, such as custards, custard-filled pastries, meringue-topped pies or pastries, kuchen, pumpkin pies, cream pies, etc.

  • Other:

    • Political propaganda

    • Franchise and direct sales business

    • Electronics and related accessories

    • Any products or items deemed inappropriate by RRM manager(s)

Vendor Eligibility

Approved selling privileges are valid for a single growing season. All vendors must apply annually. All products are subject to restriction by Fargo Cass Environmental Health Division. Admission is based on the applicant’s strengths in the following areas (in order of priority):

  • Compliance of guidelines and copies of all permits and licenses required for the sale of the applicant’s products.

  • Vendor's history with RRM (including adherence to market rules and regulations, market attendance, history of positive consumer/producer relationships, payment of fees, and professional behavior)

  • Products that are locally grown and/or handmade of high quality

  • Uniqueness of products offered

  • Ability to engage and educate consumers about products and how they were produced (via knowledgeable employees, informative brochures and handouts, etc.)

  • Other factors affecting admission of a vendor include:

    • Space availability

    • Vendor balance between unprocessed farm products and artisan food products. (RRM promotes better access for farmers with value added products vs. food purveyors with similar products)

    • Small to moderate farms and/or businesses over larger enterprises

Market Requirements

Permits, Licenses, Taxes and Insurance

  • All vendors must abide by all applicable federal, state and local health regulations and laws in the harvest, preparation, labeling and safety of the product(s) s/he brings to the RRM.

  • All permits and licenses required by Cass County, the State of North Dakota, or the Federal Government are the sole responsibility of the vendors.

  • Any required sales tax collections and remittances are the sole responsibility of the vendors. Sellers of crafts, art, fresh cut flowers, and ready to eat food items must follow North Dakota sales tax procedures and provide proper documentation to the RRM.

  • RRM carries an insurance policy for the Market for general liability, however, vendors are not covered under this policy. Vendors are strongly encouraged to purchase their own product liability insurance. When you operate at a farmers market, you are liable if injuries, illnesses, or damages happen due to your business operations. Liability insurance will protect you in case a market customer experiences bodily injury or property damage and wants to hold you responsible for the incident. Market vendor insurance providers are listed here:

    • http://campbellriskmanagement.com/vendors-and-producers

    • https://www.fliprogram.com


During the season, vendors will receive surveys the day after each market and will be required to submit online gross sales figures (rounded off to the nearest dollar) to the Market Manager by the next market date. If a vendor sells in more than one category, a gross receipt slip must be filled out for each category. These figures are confidential; only aggregate figures will be available to the public.  Vendors will also receive a pre-season and postseason survey.

Market Operations

  • The market will begin exactly at 10:00 AM. No sales are allowed before this time. See Enforcement Policy for more information on failure to comply.

  • Vendors must be set up by 9:45 AM. Latecomers may be denied admission by the market manager or admitted and located at the market manager’s discretion.

    • Habitual lateness will result in one verbal warning followed by a $20 fee. Fees can be paid with market money, cash, check, or online. Fees must be paid before the next market.

  • Vendors must tear down at 2:00 PM. No early breakdowns. The Market Manager, with the consensus of the vendors, will determine if weather is too inclement to stay open. In case of an emergency early departures must be cleared by the Market Manager. See Enforcement Policy for more information on failure to comply.

Cancellation Policy

  • The market will occur- rain or shine. However, a decision to cancel the market due to severe weather will be made by 7:00 AM on Saturdays. Vendors will be notified by email and cancellations will be posted on the RRM Facebook page and website to update customers.

  • Vendors who cannot attend the RRM on a regularly scheduled day must contact the Market Manager at least 24 hours prior to RRM day.

    • Vendors who do not show and do not contact Market Manager will be charged an additional $20 fee for their daily stall rate. Fees can be paid with market money, cash, check, or online. Fees must be paid before the next market.

SNAP and Market Money

  • RRM strives to be inclusive in their operations, so all eligible vendors are required to accept SNAP benefits. RRM staff will train vendors on the procedures. RRM will not reimburse vendors for SNAP tokens used to purchased ineligible items. Vendors are responsible for training their staff on eligible SNAP products.

  • All RRM vendors are required to accept RRM Market Money. The Market will distribute and accept EBT/SNAP tokens and Debit tokens; therefore, each Vendor must accept such tokens as payment for the products they sell as authorized. Vendors may use tokens to pay Market fees. The reimbursement process for tokens will occur at the close of each market. At that time, vendors can bring tokens to the info booth to be counted by Market staff, and the totals will be entered on a form that will be signed by a representative of both the Vendor and the Market. The Market will collect the tokens and will issue the Vendor a check in the total token amount. RRM staff will train vendors on the procedures.


  • The RRM Management does not enforce a pricing policy, but vendors should price products at fair market value and not undercut other vendors. The North Dakota Dept. of Agriculture collected prices of specialty crops sold at farmers markets in 2016.

  • RRM staff may visually survey produce vendors' prices at random during the season to make sure vendors are setting reasonable prices in the ballpark of other vendors. RRM does not fix prices, but discourages product “dumping” at very low prices.

Other Opperations

  • All RRM vendors should represent themselves in an appropriate manner, dress and state of cleanliness. Shirt and shoes must be worn at all times.

  • Neither the vendor nor their representatives may be impaired by alcohol or marijuana or illegal substances any time while on the Market premises, as determined by the Market Manager.

  • All vendors agree to abide by fair business practices.

  • No smoking (including electronic cigarettes) by vendors in the market. Move 100 feet away from the market to smoke. All vendors should wash their hands before returning to the market.

  • In alignment with best health/food safety practices, vendors are not to bring animals if they are selling food products.The RRM reserves the right to ask the owner of an animal to leave. The RRM reserves the right to allow animals at the market for special events.

  • RRM is committed to maintaining a work environment that is free of discrimination. In keeping with this commitment, we will not tolerate unlawful harassment of our employees, farmers and producers by anyone, including any farmer/grower, producer co-worker, or an external third party. Harassment of unwelcome conduct, whether verbal, physical or visual, that is based on a person’s race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation or disability is not allowed.

Vendor Fees

RRM is located at 4th Ave. N and Broadway from July 14 - October 27 for 16 market events.

Vendor Fees:

  • Season Pass:

    • Single Booth - $210 (cost per market breakdown: $13.13)

    • Double Booth - $380 (cost per market breakdown: $23.75)

  • Daily Pass

    • Single Booth - $30

    • Double Booth - $55

Electricity Fees:

  • 15 amp and below - $75 per season or $10 per day

  • 16-29 amp - $150 per season or $20 per day

  • 30 amp and above (limited to 3 passes) - price based on use by Market Manager

Electricity passes are only available to those who require it to sell their items. Charging of phones, computers, or tablets is not allowed due to the limited amount of electricity available.

Generators and power usage must be approved by the Market Manager prior to use. 

Dependence on electricity may limit booth placement.

Vendor Stall Space

Space: Vendors will receive a space of 10’ by 10’ for a single booth or 10’ by 20’ for a double booth. Booth beyond 10' by 20' will be priced individually. Booths are placed weekly based your vendor category, the total number of booths, electricity needs, and other factors.

Required items shown in diagram: canopy, canopy weights, table, tablecloth. business name sign (shown as banner), pricing signage (shown as sandwich board or individual tags).

Required items shown in diagram: canopy, canopy weights, table, tablecloth. business name sign (shown as banner), pricing signage (shown as sandwich board or individual tags).

Vendors are responsible for providing all items needed for their display.
Required to  Bring:

  • Canopy (10x10 E-Z Up tent or something similar)

  • Canopy weights (e.g. sandbags, cement blocks, water jugs, canopy weight plates)

  • Table(s)

  • Table cloths

  • Signs with business name

  • Pricing signage.

  • All vendors requiring electricity need to bring their own commercial grade outdoor extension cord (suggested 25 feet) and splitter if needed.

  • Cash box with sufficient change and small bills

Recommended Supplies:

  • Paper bags

  • Shelves

  • Scales

  • Broom

  • Tape

  • Pencils and paper

  • Scissors

Stall space is non transferable.

Vendor layout and stall space is subject to change for the Downtown Fargo Street Fair event (usually the 2nd week of the market)
Stall space cannot be shared by another vendor. Each vendor who wishes to sell at the market must join as a member and pay dues accordingly.

All displays must be neat and tasteful. All properties of the vendor must be contained in the designated space. “Hawking” (calling attention to your products in a loud, repetitive manner) is discouraged and may be limited or restricted by the Market Manager. 
All vendors are required to post the name of items and prices at all times. The farm or business sign and lettering should be large enough to be easily read from a reasonable distance.

All vendors must make certain the area is clean before leaving. Each vendor must remove all matter and debris from their area. This includes the area around the stall and in the common walkway. Trash must be completely removed without regard to whether the litter originated in the vendor's area or not and must be disposed of off-site. Sellers who dump remaining water into the sewer grates must remove leaves, flowers or other items that may cause blockage of the sewer grates before dumping the water.

Landfill Free Policy - Disposable Materials

The Red River Market strives to be good stewards of our plant. The Market has a goal to be a landfill free event, where nothing is sent to the landfill. 
For items ready-to-eat, bakery and other items to be consumed at the market

  • All disposable materials and/or packaging must be compostable or recyclable with current local infrastructure.

    • Not allowed: styrofoam/polystyrene, bleached paper products (white paper plates, bags and napkins), compostable plastics (These are only compostable in commercial high heat facilities. We are not able to compost them and they are put in the landfill)

    • Allowed: recyclable plastics #1,#2, #4, #5, #7, brown paper products, unbleached plant fiber products, bamboo and wood.

For produce and other take home items

  • Not allowed: plastic bags, white paper bags

  • Allowed: brown paper bags

Links to approved items for purchase     

If you have question about approve disposable materials and the zero waste program please reach out. Info@RedRiver.Market

Enforcement Policy
The submission of the Vendor Application serves as the vendor’s agreement to abide by the rules of the Market, enforced by market management. Violations of the rules of the RRM may be grounds for warnings, dismissal, or both.

  • The first violation of the rules will result in a verbal warning by the Market Manager. Documentation of the warning will be kept on file by the Market Manager.

  • The second violation of the rules will result in a written warning, given by the Market Manager. A copy of the letter will be kept on file by the Market Manager, along with any documentation of the violation.

  • The third violation of the rules will result in dismissal from the Market.

Grievance Policy
All complaints must be addressed in writing to the Market Manager. All complaints will be reviewed by the Market Manager who will work with market management to address and resolve the complaint.

Market Contact Information
Email: info@redriver.market
Facebook: www.facebook.com/redrivermarket
Website: redriver.market

The Red River Market was founded by Joe Burgum, Megan Myrdal, Whitney Oxendahl, Jodi Regan (previous organizer), and Simone Wai. Red River Market is a program of Folkways, co-organized by its co-founders. Folkways creates experiences that connect community and increase quality of of life. Folkways uses immersive experiences to solve problems like workforce retention, economic vitality, and communal belonging.