Farm Stand
Updated: April 11, 2024
By Ginger S. Myers

Direct Marketing

Any marketing method whereby farmers sell their products directly to consumers. Examples include roadside stands, farm stands, U-pick operations, community-supported agriculture or subscription farming, farmers' markets, etc. Growers who market their products directly to customers usually receive a higher price than those who sell wholesale.

Explore Resources on Direct Marketing


  • A Marketing Decision Tool and Guide for Grass-fed Beef (EB 374)
    Ginger S. Myers, Marketing Specialist
    University of Maryland Extension and Director of the Maryland Rural Enterprise
    Development Center. 

    This resource guide will assist grass-fed beef producers to formulate profitable marketing strategies. It is a decision tool to assist individual producers in making marketing decisions about what to produce; where/how/in what venue(s) outlets to market their product; and practical risk management strategies.
  • Direct Farm Marketing and Tourism Handbook
    Russell Tronstad and Julie Leones

    This guide is designed to help farm and ranch operators (and other individuals who grow or process food products) market their products and services directly to the consumer.
  • Direct Marketing
    Katherine Adam and Thea Rittenhouse
    ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

    This publication discusses direct marketing and the benefits and risks associated with selling agricultural products directly to customers. It covers popular direct marketing strategies, including  farmers markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), and direct sales to restaurants, institutions, and food hubs, as well as agritourism and Internet-based direct marketing. It contains information on marketing plans, pricing strategies, and creative marketing techniques. Examples illustrate how farmers are utilizing direct marketing channels to become more economically viable.
  • Direct Marketing of Farm Produce and Home Goods. A3602 (pdf)
    John Cottingham, James Hovland, Jordana Lenon, Teryl Roper, and Catherine Techtmann
    University of Wisconsin Extension

    Direct marketing alternatives and strategies for beginning and established producers
  • Farmer's Markets: Marketing and Business Guide
    Janet Bachmann, NCAT Agriculture Specialist
    ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

    This publication is a resource for those who want to organize a farmers market, to improve an existing market, or to increase their sales.
  • Sampling Permit Regulations by County
    In Maryland, counties regulate how food sampling is conducted in their jurisdiction at local markets and retail outlets. This document lists product sampling regulations in counties that publish this information. Document developed by the University of Maryland Extension, Family Consumer Science Educators.


  • Horticultural Business Information Network: Direct Marketing
    Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
  • Scaling Up Your Vegetable Farm for Wholesale Markets
    By Andy Zieminski, SARE Outreach

    For direct market farmers, expanding your operation to capture local and regional wholesale markets can represent an opportunity. But such a shift brings with it many changes to how you run your farm because the expectations that wholesale buyers have is much different than your direct market customers. Scaling Up Your Vegetable Farm for Wholesale Markets guides you through the likely changes you'll need to take into consideration when planning to branch out into wholesale markets. These include business planning, working with wholesale buyers, and areas of production that range from increasing yield and produce quality, to harvest and postharvest handling, food safety and more.


Decision Tools for Selecting Market Outlets
Ginger S. Myers
Length: 54:13

As part of our MAERDAF supported training series for farmers on increasing success & sales through farmers' markets, we're excited to offer a webinar series in partnership with the University of Maryland Extension Women in Agriculture Wednesday Webinars.

Super Market Vendor

Ginger S. Myers

Length: 42:28

Are you a farmer or food producer and can spare an hour to learn how to improve your sales at farmers' markets? Yes? Then tune to this webinar for a crash course in how to provide customers with an amazing shopping experience while browsing and purchasing your outstanding products.  Myers will teach you the fundamentals of “relationship marketing” where the customer experiences a value-add connection with you as the producer. This course will walk you through display techniques, signage, communication using social media, and vital customer service techniques that convert farmers market shoppers into your loyal customers who will shop with you with you rain or shine.
This webinar is offered in partnership with the University of Maryland Extension Women in Agriculture Wednesday Webinars and the Rural Maryland Council.