Purpose of the Survey

The purpose of the USDA National Farmers Market Survey is to develop a current profile of the farmers market industry. The survey will produce information needed to:
  • Document the importance of farmers markets as a source of farm-based income;
  • Identify recent changes in product mix and market performance;
  • Determine the primary motivators for farmers market patronage;
  • Better understand the farmers market's promotional and administrative practices;
  • Uncover major operational challenges facing farmers market managers;
  • Evaluate the growth of the farmers market sector;
  • Provide the resource requirements of markets; and
  • Outline strategies that can be used to revitalize existing markets.
Reports and presentations developed from the 2005 survey of farmers markets have been utilized by State Departments of Agriculture, farmer groups, various USDA agencies, and non-profit organizations to improve market intelligence, market operations, and evaluate the impact of federal nutrition programs on farmers market sales. Data extracted from survey results have been presented and shared by AMS personnel at the request of a variety of agricultural stakeholders including the Farmers Market Consortium, Board members of the Farmers Market Coalition, Food Distribution Research Society, Arkansas Land Development Corporation, the Federal Researve Bank of Minneapolis, Roots of Change, Office of Budget and Program Analysis, various mainstream news media, and State Departments of Agriculture.

We encourage all farmers market managers to participate in this survey. Comprehensive data will allow analysis of markets of varied range of size, geographical location, type, ownership, and structure, providing stakeholders with the most complete and current analysis of the farmers market sector.
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