Indicators for Impact: Farmers Markets as Leaders in Collaborative Food System Data Collection and Analysis
Indicators for Impact: Farmers Markets as Leaders in Collaborative Food System Data Collection and Analysis is a three-year research study funded by USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) in which the University of Wisconsin-Madison in collaboration with Farmers Market Coalition is seeking to identify data measures and collection tools and help markets and their partners integrate these into a long-term measurement strategy through training and technical assistance. Dr. Alfonso Morales is the Principal Investigator for the project.
The impetus of the project was the perceived challenge of grassroots data collection and a current lack of training for market communities to become more adept at collecting and using appropriate data. Our project responds to this most pressing question: how can market organizations and their project partners collect and use decision-making data they need in a disciplined and timely way?
Nine markets across the country are currently testing data collection and reporting protocols. The project team gathered known metrics used over the past decade in markets and food system research and prioritized those that could be easily gathered by the market community itself. The project began in April 2014 and will conclude in March 2017.
Photo, right to left: Dr. Alfonso Morales, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Jenny Hudson and Maria Arnot, Williamson Farmers Market
News and Announcements
- A Look at Data Collection in Wisconsin Markets March 29, 2016
- Farmers Market Metrics Data Entry Feedback 2015 February 2, 2016
- Market Observations 2015 September 1, 2015
- Spring market season is ripe for data collection March 15, 2015
- The Market Profile: A History February 23, 2015
- Farmers Market Coalition Metrics_Press Release January 14, 2015
- Creating a Vendor Tree -Terms and Definitions January 7, 2015
- Research Process Update from Darlene Wolnik July 21, 2014
- AFRI Funding Announcement: FMC Partners with U. of Wisc. to Research Metrics May 1, 2014
AFRI Project Team
The AFRI Project Team is comprised of staff from the Farmers Market Coalition and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Alfonso Morales, Principal Investigator and Associate Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Sara Padilla, Project Manager for the Farmers Market Coalition and co-Principal Investigator, lead a team of committed and experienced professionals located across the country.
- Alfonso Morales, Project Director and Principal Investigator, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Sara Padilla, Project Manager and co-Principal Investigator, Farmers Market Coalition
- Jen Cheek, Executive Director, Farmers Market Coalition
- Darlene Wolnik, Senior Research Associate, Farmers Market Coalition
- Lauren Suerth, PhD candidate, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Youn Hee Jeong, PhD candidate, University of Wisconsin-Madison
The following nine markets are participating in the Indicators for Impact project pilot.
- Athens Farmers Market, Athens, OH
- Chillicothe Farmers Market, Chillicothe, OH
- Crossroads Farmers Market, Takoma Park, MD
- Hernando Farmers Market, Hernando, MS
- Oxford City Market, Oxford, MS
- Ruston Farmers Market, Ruston, LA
- Spotsylvania Farmers Market, Spotsylvania, VA
- Williamsburg Farmers Market, Williamsburg, VA
- Williamson Farmers Market, Williamson, WV
AFRI Vendor Application Metrics January 2015 (not yet publicly available)
AFRI Project 2014/2015 Metric Selection Worksheet (updated October 2014)
Note: The metrics used in this pilot project are continually being refined so please email darlene@
Data Collection in Action!