; Assessing the Costs and Benefits of Participation in Community Farmers Markets | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Assessing the Costs and Benefits of Participation in Community Farmers Markets

Diane Holtaway


Prompted by the dramatic growth of community farmers markets nationwide, as well as in the state of New Jersey, the Rutgers Food Innovation Center conducted a research study to assess the costs and benefits of directly marketing locally grown and value-added farm products at New Jersey community farmers markets. Additionally, the study was designed to identify best practices to communities and sponsors in establishing and operating a successful community farmers market. This presentation will highlight the learnings from the research and provide educators and women farmers with a means to assess the opportunity and requirements for achieving realistic financial goals. Key topics will include:
• Strengthening Farm Viability through Direct Marketing
• Choosing a Market That’s Right for You: Location and Market Characteristics
• Farm Market Participation: Issues Farmers Need to Consider
• Consumer Purchasing Options: Cash, Credit Cards, Vouchers and EBTs
• Health Regulations and Farm Market Products
• Features of Successful Community Farmers Markets
This quantitative/qualitative study involved a variety of research methodologies, including mail surveys to 170 farmers, 52 personal interviews with community farmers market managers, and two focus groups with 22 New Jersey farmers.
We believe the results of this research will be of great interest and benefit to the participants of the National Women in Agriculture Educators Conference since we have observed a high incidence of women participation in community farmers markets. The material will provide a realistic plan to achieve financial goals utilizing a clear road map to success.