Developing Guidelines for Farmers to Market Directly to Consumers at Community Farmers’ Markets

Project Overview

FS03-176
Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2003: $14,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Region: Southern
State: Florida
Principal Investigator:
Sharon Yeago
Alachua County Farmers’ Market, Inc.

Commodities

  • Agronomic: barley, canola, corn, cotton, flax, hops, millet, oats, peanuts, potatoes, rapeseed, rice, rye, safflower, spelt, soybeans, sugarbeets, sugarcane, sunflower, wheat, grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Fruits: melons, apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, berries (other), berries (cranberries), cherries, figs, citrus, grapes, olives, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, quinces, berries (strawberries)
  • Nuts: almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts
  • Vegetables: sweet potatoes, artichokes, asparagus, beans, beets, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucurbits, eggplant, garlic, greens (leafy), lentils, onions, parsnips, peas (culinary), peppers, rutabagas, sweet corn, tomatoes, turnips, brussel sprouts
  • Additional Plants: tobacco
  • Animals: bees, bovine, poultry, goats, rabbits, swine, sheep, fish, ratite, shellfish
  • Animal Products: dairy

Practices

  • Animal Production: feed/forage
  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, extension, farmer to farmer, mentoring, networking
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, marketing management, risk management, value added
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, partnerships, analysis of personal/family life, sustainability measures

    Summary:

    Farmers markets are designed to bring consumers and farmers together through direct contact in a community setting. Attracting new farmers and their products, and informing consumers about these farmers and products, is essential to the sustainability of farmers markets and participating farmers. One goal of a farmers market is to provide outreach and new marketing strategies to farmers who might not otherwise participate in the market. Some of these strategies are understanding the benefits of a diversity of sales, direct marketing and how to reduce risk.

    Alachua County has one of the largest networks of farmers markets in Florida. But individual markets have difficulty recruiting new farmers. This producer organization will develop a survey to target why farmers decide not to market locally. From the survey results, they intend to develop tools to help farmers decide if marketing locally would be beneficial. The survey will go out to approximately two thousand farmers in five north central Florida counties.

    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.