Expanding Community-Based Retail Opportunities for Agricultural Products Through the Woodford County Farmers’ Market Association

Project Overview

CS03-013
Project Type: Sustainable Community Innovation
Funds awarded in 2003: $9,700.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Region: Southern
State: Kentucky
Principal Investigator:
Betty King
University of Kentucky

Annual Reports

Commodities

  • Agronomic: sunflower, grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Fruits: grapes, melons
  • Vegetables: asparagus, beans, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, cucurbits, eggplant, peas (culinary), peppers, sweet corn, tomatoes, turnips
  • Additional Plants: ornamentals

Practices

  • Animal Production: feed/forage
  • Education and Training: technical assistance, decision support system, demonstration, display, extension, farmer to farmer, focus group, study circle
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, marketing management, market study, value added, whole farm planning
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, urban/rural integration, community services, social networks, sustainability measures

    Abstract:

    The Woodford County Farmers’ Market is a business incubator for small and part-time farmers in a surburban county adjoining a major population area. A new development downtown is offering a covered year-round retail space for the Farmers’Market. This project was successful in fostering stronger economic and social ties with downtown businesses. Beautification packages of spring flower pot plantings and fall decorations of pumpkins, corn fodder stalks and mums were purchased from farmers by downtown businesses. Technical and marketing skill workshops were conducted to improve sales of products. Several promotions were conducted with vocational school and school systems to promote awareness and sales.
    An internet order system was set up to help farmers sell to local restuarants. A newly established certified community kitchen is utilized by 7 farmers to add value by processing their fruits and vegetables to sell at the farmers’market.

    Project objectives:

    The objectives for the project were:
    1.To make community-wide connections that link locally grown farm and food products via the Farmers’ Market Association through downtown businesses, the retail sector, and other innovative routes to consumers.
    2.To increase the capacity and knowledge base of Farmers’Market members and help them expand the market for their products through other market sectors, value-added product development, and promotional activities.
    3.To involve the community and farmers’Market patrons in an education awareness program for using locally grown food and farm products.
    4.To explore other innovative routes that tap market opportunities for farm products with community-base initiatives.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.