Gold Level Certification

The Downtown South Boston Farmers Market is proud to announce that it has been awarded Gold Level certification by the Virginia Farmers Market Association (VAFMA). This prestigious recognition, under the newly launched Virginia Certified Farmers Market Program, underscores the market’s commitment to upholding the highest standards of excellence in serving the community.

According to the VAFMA certification, when consumers shop a Virginia Certified Farmers Market, they can trust that the market is a safe, welcoming, and transparent source of local food. Not only is certification a message to shoppers that the market is striving to keep them safe, but it also lets vendors know that the market takes promotion and outreach to new shoppers seriously. This initiative ensures shoppers can confidently support local agriculture and vendors while enjoying a safe and inclusive environment.

“Receiving Gold Level certification is such an honor and demonstrates our commitment to safety, continuous growth and excellence,” said Melissa Nelson, market manager. “We are dedicated to delivering the best quality products – with a continuous focus on providing a positive experience for our farmers, vendors, community and the surrounding counties.”

The certification levels—Bronze, Silver, and Gold—are determined by a comprehensive point system evaluating food safety, public safety, innovation, and the continuing education of the farmers market manager. The Downtown South Boston Farmers Market solidified its standing as a market focused on outstanding quality and the highest standards by earning the most prestigious level achievable of Gold Level certification.

An advisory committee of market managers, state agencies, and university staff developed the Virginia Certified Farmers Market Program standards. “We are excited that the Downtown South Boston Farmers Market has achieved this level of excellence, demonstrating their commitment and dedication to safety and the quality of what they have to offer,” said Tom Raab, South Boston Town Manager. “Melissa Nelson has taken our market to new heights and we congratulate her and her team on this incredible achievement.”

The Downtown South Boston Farmers Market season kicked off on March 16, 2024 and continues through October each Saturday from 8am-1pm. Wednesday at the Market begins May 22, 2024 from 3pm-7pm and continues through the end of September with vendors, live music, food trucks, and lots of fun for the community.

Interested vendors and event volunteers can apply online or contact Melissa Nelson, market manager, at

The Downtown South Boston Farmers Market 2024 sponsors include Hitachi Energy, Halifax County Farm Bureau, and Virginia Farm Credit. The market programs and services are also supported by Sentara through the Sentara Cares Grant.