Community Impact of Farmers Markets
I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
Colleen Donovan, research coordinator with the WSU Small Farms Program, says the recently released study conducted by the Small Farms Program on the community impact of farmers markets provides extensive data that will help to better represent this rapidly growing sector of agriculture.
DONOVAN: In Washington the increasing number of farmers markets is mirroring a national trend. So, over this period of time there has been a lot more public interest in local foods, in foods that are direct from farmers, and also to have these community spaces where people can come together to learn about food, to learn about cooking, to see how things are grown. Building relationships with customers is one of the best and most important benefits to farmers for selling at a farmers market.
Creating a successful market that provides communities with fresh farm produce takes a great amount of planning and organizing behind the scenes.
DONOVAN: Sometimes they come off so seamlessly that it's hard to recognize that there are organizers there who have gotten the permits from the city, and have the insurance and are following the food safety regulations, and getting that right mix of vendors to really serve the community, and making sure the community can come out and support the market.
Donovan reports that they also did 14 different rapid market assessments with farmers market shoppers throughout the state.
DONOVAN: And we asked them questions about why they came to the market, where are they coming from, how much did they spend, are they supporting other area businesses. From that research we know that their number one motive for shopping at the market is to support farmers.
Tomorrow Donovan will talk about why farmers choose to sell at farmers markets.
That's Washington Ag Today.
I'm Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.