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Category: State Association Development
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.
Bernadine Prince, President FMC, Co-founder and Co-Director of FRESHFARM Markets, DC
Dru Montri, Director, Michigan Farmers Market Association
Darlene Wolnik, Independent Researcher and Trainer for Public Markets
The research, conducted through in-depth surveys of market managers throughout Washington State, documents the current capacity of Washington State farmers markets to generate income for farmers, improve the environment, and provide assets to communities; as well as to assess their long-term sustainability. The report also identifies the organizational and management strategies of successful market organizations, examining the following:
- General farmers market characteristics
- Farmers market vendors and products
- Farmers market sales, customers, and business development
- Organizational structure of farmers markets
- Community and environmental dynamics
- Farmers market personnel
A collection of sample documents from British Columbia Association of Farmers Markets (BCAFM) member markets; helpful examples of farmers market policies, regulations, vendor handbooks and vendor applications forms.
A summary report detailing the results of a study by FMC surveying all known farmers market associations. The purpose of the survey was to identify how FMAs are organized, how they operate and what they need to continue best supporting member markets across the country and identify services that FMC could provide to meet their needs.
This page includes tips on the types of data to collect at farmers markets as well as strategies, followed by a form that New Mexico Farmers Markets are asked to complete each year so that the association can aggregate and report it.
The 124 page report is based on in-depth research (four focus groups and 12 individual interviews) and a
telephone measurement survey conducted among a cross section of market managers and farmer
vendors who participate in farmers’ markets in and around the Greenbelt (Ontario). The sample for the
structured telephone interview consisted of 60 Greenbelt‐based farmers and 40 market managers. This
research was conducted between November 2009 and February 2010 to understand market sales, operational characteristics, challenges, and other factors impacting markets. This study parallels Greenbelt Farmers Market Network’s 2010 and 2012 Shopper Studies.
A set of guidelines established by the Washington State Farmers Market Association to which their members must adhere. As stated, “Regardless of the Market’s location or the number of vendors, Washington State consumers have the same expectations, and it is these expectations that every Farmers Market should meet if it truly intends to be successful in its goals:
- A Farmers Market is where a grower can sell directly to the consumer and is most likely the small farmer’s best opportunity to profit from their land and efforts; and
- A Farmers Market is a marketplace where consumers can talk directly to the grower, purchase the freshest produce possible, and experience the health-giving effects of that freshness.
Sowing Value, Reaping Rewards: Recruitment, Services, and Administrative Systems for Successful Membership Organizations
Brian Snyder and Michele Gauger, Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture & Jeff Cole, Federation of Massachusetts Farmers Markets
- Download the handouts (PDF)