Researching Farmer Characteristics and Strategically Deploying the Data

Public Policies | State Association Development | Surveys, Evaluation

Webinar Q&A (pdf)

Farmers markets are nothing without farmers. And even within a single market, these producers have diverse backgrounds, defying generalizations. Understanding their characteristics, motivations, and needs is critical in order to continually improve market operations, measure market outcomes, and be accountable to organizational missions. Colleen Donovan, researcher on a comprehensive statewide analysis of farmers markets with Washington State University, leads her presentation on this webinar with an overview of findings from a recent statewide vendor survey, followed by practical advice on how to better understand farmers market producers and use findings in a range of important contexts.

Colleen Donovan, Small Farms Program, Washington State University
Colleen has worked with farmers in Washington State since 2003 and coordinated farmers market research for the Washington State University’s Small Farms Program and Farmers Market Action Team since 2010. She co-authored the “Washington State Farmers Market Management Toolkit” with Karen Kinney in 2012. Colleen serves on the board of the Washington State Farmers Market Association and was named the “2011 Advocate of the Year” by the Tilth Producers of Washington. She has a B.S. from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; MA in Geography from the University of Washington.

Darlene Wolnik is a food system consultant, focused on researching and analyzing entrepreneurial systems such as farmers markets and other direct and indirect sales outlets for regional food producers. Since 2001, she has been working on farmers markets and food systems, first as the Deputy Director at Market Umbrella in New Orleans and then since 2011, as an independent consultant for over three-dozen projects across the country, including an 2013 analysis of Vermont’s farmers market currency programs and an upcoming report on direct market farming in Mississippi.

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Farmers Market Coalition


Colleen Donovan, Darlene Wolnik, and Stacy Miller


Published December 09, 2013 Publisher Website PresentationResearch Reports

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