New book examines farmers market management ecology

      Posted On: December 8, 2008

Title: Farmers’ Markets: Success, Failure, and Management Ecology
Author: Garry Stephenson

Farmers’ Markets: Success, Failure and Management Ecology explores historic trends related to growth and decline in market numbers, examines the management organization associated with markets of specific sizes, analyzes the characteristics and issues associated with markets that fail, and offers a model that illustrates how farmers’ market organizers successfully adapt to barriers and challenges in their environment. The book engages a node in the food system that has implications for the economic health of small farms and the social and economic life of communities.

The book incorporates both the academic and the practical. It will be an important reference to students and researchers across disciplines with interests in food system research, as well as practitioners managing or working with farmers’ markets. As an applied study, the book provides information and recommendations to assist markets with decision making and strategic planning. Although the focus of this research is on one area in the United States, the findings have broad application.

“In the end, farmers markets are about community relationships– agencies and managers, or community organizations/businesses and market boards. These relationships are complex and dynamic. They are both what make farmers markets so inviting and wonderful, and what burn some managers (and markets) out. But, if I were a betting woman, I’d say farmers markets are here to stay.”  (From the foreword by Gail Feenstra of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP) at the University of California, Davis)