National Farmers Market Survey

Thank you for your interest, but the National Farmers Market Survey is now closed.

The National Farmers Market Survey is being conducted by the Marketing Services Division of USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service. Participation by all farmers markets will enable the Marketing Service to develop a current profile of the U.S. farmers market industry, which will be shared widely with industry stakeholders.

A number of changes have occurred since the last survey of farmers markets in 2005. The number of farmers markets across the country has continued to increase, rising from 4,093 markets in the 2005 season (the period of time covered by the 2006 survey), to approximately 5,274 in 2009, representing a 28.9 percent increase. Product mix and offerings at farmers markets have adapted to consumer demands and new government programs have emerged that have exerted influence on farmers market sales.

Government programs affecting farmers markets include the creation of the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program in March 2003 and the modernization of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly titled the Food Stamp Program, delivery system to Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) in 2002. The vast majority of supplemental nutrition assistance benefits are currently being issued electronically. The Women, Infants, and Children Farmers Market program has increased in funding since 2000 and continues to influence farmers market sales. The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program was expanded on October 1, 2009 to allow recipients to make purchases of fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers markets.

There have been a number of modifications made to the survey questionnaire since the 2006 survey in order to capture the changes that have occurred in the farmers market sector. Questionnaire improvements include an expanded and enhanced measurement of federal nutritional benefits programs; enhanced measurement of: days of operation; number of vendors; number of customers and market sales with greater attention to the seasonal nature of markets and the days of the week markets were in operation. In addition, the questions contained in the survey have been reordered which should result in respondents finding the questionnaire easier to complete.

For a list of frequently asked questions about the USDA National Farmers Market Survey, click here.
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