Bylaws of

Abingdon Farmers Market


To provide a consistent venue for farmers, food vendors, crafters and artisans from Washington County, VA (and the surrounding area within a 50 mile radius) to sell their wares directly to the public; to encourage the growing and consumption of local foods and to promote the local economy in Washington County, VA.


SECTION 1: Eligibility

Any vendor who participates within the current Abingdon Farmers Market (AFM) season, who abides by the rules and regulations of the AFM. The regular AFM season begins in April and ends at the last market in March.  Membership is granted after completion and receipt of vendor application and required fees, and applicant has vended for at least one market. 

SECTION 2: Farm Visits

As a producer only market, it is the requirement of the AFM that all farm vendors who wish to participate at the market be open to farm visits throughout the market season. All visits are performed by Steering Committee members and the Market Manager throughout the season, typically once every 2-3 years, and used only to verify the integrity of the market product; that you make it, raise it, or grow it!

SECTION 3: Rights of Members

  1. Each vendor shall be eligible to appoint one voting representative to cast a vote for Steering Committee elections and amending of AFM’s bylaws that take place throughout the current AFM season.
  2. Any vendor who becomes a member of the AFM and sells during any of the market seasons will never be required to disclose their financial sales or records to AFM. The market may from time to time request voluntary disclosure of financial sales, but never require it.
  3. Vendors are encouraged to attend Steering Committee meetings.


SECTION 1: Monthly Steering Committee Meetings

Regular meetings of the Steering Committee shall follow the operational calendar for the market year.  The Operational Calendar will be developed during the first steering committee meeting of the year and made available to all members by the Spring Meeting.  All members of the AFM are encouraged to attend any of these meetings and serve in an advisory capacity to any of the business brought before the Committee.


SECTION 2: Mandatory Spring Member Meeting

The Steering Committee will select the best Saturday in March before the start of the regular market season to gather all members for a Mandatory meeting. The meeting date will be announced in the rules and application forms each year.   The purpose of this meeting is to review reports, changes, and updates on the activities of the AFM for the upcoming market season.  The meeting will be used for site selection of each vendor. 


SECTION 3: Notice of meetings

All meeting dates & locations will be available on request from the Market Manager or Steering Committee Members and sent in the weekly email.  In the event that meetings are cancelled or rescheduled, it will be the responsibility of the Steering Committee to enact a proper notification to the member body, whether by mail or electronic mail.


SECTION 1: Purpose

To promote the unity of vendors, patrons, and the Town of Abingdon in AFM decisions. The Steering Committee will serve as the ultimate decision-making body for the AFM which includes but is not limited to the following:

  • set policies.
  • determine rules and regulations for the AFM.
  • define job descriptions and rate of pay for AFM staff.
  • hire AFM staff positions.


A meeting quorum will be ½ of the committee members plus 1.

SECTION 2: Make up of Steering Committee

The Steering Committee shall consist of thirteen members as follows:

  • 1 – non-voting representative of the Town of Abingdon, to be appointed by the Town. (Market Manager will typically fill this role.)
    • 1 – Treasurer; non voting, non-vendor – appointed by the Steering Committee
    • 1 elected patron of the AFM
    • 7 farm vendors and 3 non-farm vendors.


SECTION 3: Steering Committee Terms

Elected members shall serve a two-year term with one half of the Steering Committee seats being up for election each year.


SECTION 4: Election Procedures

Every election season will consist of a nomination process and a voting process.

Nominations, for every available seat, including vendor/patron bio, will be due by November 1st of every year.  A nominations ballot will be distributed by hand, mail and/or electronic mail, within 2 weeks by the market manager, to all eligible members of the AFM. While any member of the AFM can nominate any standing member of the AFM for the ballot, anyone who wishes to be nominated must supply their own campaign bio by the appointed deadline.

It is not the responsibility of the Market Manager or the Steering Committee to aid in or run the campaigns of any member wishing to run for these positions. It is the sole responsibility of any who wish to run for these positions to articulate their own campaign material, provide their own media and campaign to active members of the AFM on their own behalf outside of the ballot that the AFM will issue to their active membership.

Upon mailing out the ballots, votes will be accepted anytime up until the end of the first market in December.  Votes can be given to the Market Manager at the market, by email, or by mail. Votes will be counted, winners declared and announced by email to the AFM membership by the 2nd week of December.  In the case of a tie, there will be a run-off vote by the members who previously voted via email and concluded by the following market. If all procedures have been exhausted and no clear tie has been broken, the Steering Committee itself will then choose the winner of the contested position by a simple majority vote. 

It is the sole responsibility of every member to participate in the election every season. Elections are open to all members of the AFM.

It is not the responsibility of the Market Manager or the Steering Committee to continually remind everyone to vote.


SECTION 5: Resignation, termination and absences

Resignation from the Steering Committee must be in writing and received by the Secretary. A Steering Committee member shall be terminated from the Committee due to excess absences and/or other reasons that conflict with the best interests of the AFM by a two-thirds vote of the remaining Committee members. Excess absences are defined as having more than 2 unexcused absences from the regular Committee meetings in a year. All Vacancies created by any of these circumstances will refer to Article IV, Section 6 for replacement procedures.

SECTION 6: Vacancies and Special Elections

When a vacancy on the Steering Committee exists within the first 4 months of a new term, the nominee who came in with the second most votes in the vacant category during the prior election will be offered the position. If the position is turned down by said nominee, or the vacancy is created midterm, a special election will take place to replace the vacancy on the board. In the case of a special election, a notice must be given to the vendor membership, by mail or by electronic mail, at least 30 days in advance to the election deadline with a minimum of 14 days appointed to receiving nominations and an additional 14 days minimum appointed to receiving and counting votes. All votes will be counted, and an announcement made of the winner on the deadline stated. The new member will begin the remainder of the vacant term at the next regular meeting of the Steering Committee. If the vacancy exists within the last 4 months of any term, it is the Steering Committee’s decision by a simple majority vote to forgo a special election and leave the seat vacant until the upcoming election.



SECTION 1: Appointment of Officers

The officers of the AFM Steering Committee shall be a Facilitator, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. All officers are appointed annually at the January Committee meeting by the newly elected Steering Committee. Their duties are as follows:

SECTION 2: Duties of Officers

  • The Facilitator shall preside over the AFM Steering Committee and Member meetings, write the agenda for meetings and distribute the agenda to the Steering Committee members prior to the meeting. It is the primary role of the facilitator to keep the meeting and discussions on track & to follow the approved agenda in a timely and courteous manner.
  • The Secretary shall keep minutes of all the meetings of the AFM members, including Steering Committee meetings. Minutes will be sent to the Facilitator and Market Manager for review & corrections prior to being sent to the membership by the Market Manager
  • The Treasurer will be a non-voting, non-vendor (appointed by Steering Committee) who shall oversee the financial affairs of the AFM, work in conjunction with the market manager to develop annual budgets for the AFM, create financial reports, and regularly present them to the Steering Committee.

SECTION 3: Removal of Officers

Any officer appointed by the Steering Committee may be removed by the remaining Steering Committee members by a two-thirds (2/3) vote, whenever in its judgment the best interests of the AFM would be served thereby.

SECTION 4: Vacancies

A vacancy in any office because of death, resignation, removal, disqualification or otherwise, may be filled by the remainder of the Steering Committee for the unexpired portion of the term.




SECTION 1: Appointments

The Steering Committee may from time to time appoint such standing and ad–hoc Committees as it deems advisable. Membership of these Committees shall include AFM members and other interested individuals. The power and responsibilities of such Committees shall be determined by the Steering Committee.

SECTION 2: Structure of Committees

Each Committee shall appoint within themselves at least one chair and one secretary to perform running the meeting and maintain the minutes required by each Committee if the appointments are not made by the Steering Committee upon their creation. All members of the appointed Committees and any change of Committee members must be approved by the Steering Committee by a simple majority vote.

SECTION 3: Minutes

Committees shall keep minutes of their meetings, report at regular AFM member meetings, and file their Committee minutes as attachments to the minutes of the next regular AFM member meeting’s minutes.


SECTION 1: Market Manager/Outreach Coordinator

The Market Manager will serve as the Steering Committee’s representative at the AFM, serves as the Town of Abingdon representative per MOU, and is the main communicator of financials and information as requested by vendors.  Hours worked and wages shall be determined as needed by the Steering Committee. The Market Manager will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Enforce AFM rules and regulations.
  • Attend both Tuesday and Saturday Markets.
  • Collect fees and assign spaces (providing receipts for all collected fees).
  • Arrive 1 hour prior to the Market and stay to the end.
  • Participate in farm visits as budget permits.
  • Maintain a log of all phone calls / Market activity.
  • Represent the AFM at civic functions.
  • Take comments/complaints from vendors and customers.
  • Arrange for special events and entertainment at the AFM.
  • Submit press releases and AFM calendar events to local media.
  • Coordinate advertising and publicity for the AFM.
  • Help promote and oversee Senior Nutrition and Food Stamp programs at AFM.
  • Help train vendors and customers in the use of the programs/equipment.
  • Shall recommend and train the Assistant Market Manager
  • Shall distribute meeting announcements, agendas, minutes, and other correspondence to the AFM membership.
  • Demonstrate basic computer and communication skills.
  • Maintain a neat and welcoming appearance.



SECTION 2: Assistant to the Market Manager

The Assistant to the Market Manager will be appointed, trained, and evaluated by the Market Manager after being approved by the Steering Committee.  The responsibilities of the Assistant to the Market Manager will be as follows:

  • Operate the market table; supervise EBT/ credit cards/ money transactions, sell AFM merchandise and help customers find specific vendors.
  • Act as the Market Manager in case the Market Manager needs to be away from the market at any time. Prior to this, the Steering Committee will be informed. 
  • If the Assistant to the Market Manager is a AFM vendor, they will have a permanent vendor spot near the market table in order to have a clear view of customers needing help, and to be aware of when the Market Manager needs to step away from the table.
  • Prepare for market & perform duties as needed.
  • Hours and wages will be determined by the Steering Committee.



Any Officer now or hereafter serving the AFM, their representative heirs, executors and personal representatives, shall be indemnified by the AFM against expenses actually and necessarily incurred by him or her in connection with the defense of any action, suit or proceeding, in which he or she is made a party by reason of being or having been such a director or officer, except in relation to matters to which he or she shall be adjudged in such suit, action or proceeding to be liable for negligence or misconduct in the performance of duty: but such indemnification shall not be deemed exclusive of any other rights to which such person may be entitled under any law, agreement, vote of the Steering Committee or otherwise.


These Bylaws may be altered or amended by a two–thirds vote of the membership present at any given meeting where the proposed change has been listed as an agenda item for said meeting. Any member unable to be present at said meeting may submit, to the Secretary, in writing his or her comments at least one week prior to the meeting. Notice of specific language of proposed amendments to Bylaws must be provided in writing, either by standard mail or electronic mail, to the membership at least 14 days prior to the meeting.


The fiscal year shall be the calendar year.