By Colleen Donovan & Karen Kinney
Finding up-to-date data to help you plan, manage, and promote your market can be a challenge. Below are a few leading resources.
Oregon State University
Our neighbors to the south have a bounty of Technical Reports on farmers markets that every manager should know about.
Washington State University Farmers Market Research
In partnership with a statewide “Farmers Market Action Team,” the WSU Small Farms Program has coordinated various farmers markets research projects, including 14 Rapid Market Assessments, a statewide survey of farmers markets managers and farm vendors. All reports are posted on the Small Farms Team website.
In addition, a WSU Wireless Technology Project researched the impacts of EBT and credit/debit programs at farmers markets with support from the WSDA Specialty Crop program. Data from this project are included in the Food Access Programs at Washington State Farmers Markets (2015) report and Tilth Producers Quarterly article (2016).
Also see Rapid Market Assessments.
Washington State Farmers Market Association
The WSFMA tracks a variety of data that is voluntarily reported by member markets. The aggregate sales data and total number of member markets are shared during Farmers Market Week. Additional analyses may be available to members upon request.
Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP)
The Department of Health creates an annual report for FMNP sales, usually by county and legislative district. In 2016, this data was posted online. Look in the “Data and Statistical Reports” section under “Health Behaviors” and look for WIC.
Steve Evans at the King County Ag Program currently coordinates farmers market support and collects annual market data. In 2010, Karen Kinney spearheaded an extensive report on farmers markets for King County.
In 2012, Karen Kinney and the Farmers Market Access Project Advisory Committee completed a report on their project “to identify innovative practices, policy opportunities, and emerging technology that will increase low-income shoppers’ ability to purchase healthy, local food at local farmers markets.” .
Washington Market and Non-Profit Organizations
The Neighborhood Farmers Markets does an excellent job of tracking and presenting annual market data for their seven Seattle markets.
Farmers Market Coalition
The “Market Metrics” project of the FMC brings together their best tools to help farmers markets collect data. The goal is to create a recommended set of data that any market can collect, analyze, and share online. The FMC will be proving training on this project as well as other forms of evaluation. For more information visit:
United States Department of Agriculture
The USDA has a variety of reports and resources that include farmers market data:
- USDA ERS “Food Environment Atlas”
- USDA AMS Local Foods Listings & Farmers Market Directory
- USDA National Ag Statistical Service, Washington State Office
Farmers Market Research and Data for Washington State