From the Ground to Town

2014 Annual Report for FS13-269

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2013: $14,965.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2016
Region: Southern
State: Mississippi
Principal Investigator:
Joe Barnes
Indian Springs Farmers Association

From the Ground to Town


The Indian Springs Farmers Association member farmers grow, sell and process fresh produce. The association is made up of over 20 members who are local farmers. In addition there are several farmers markets in the area that need better market information in order to better serve their customers. The association has been attempting to better meet the needs of its customers. Although there are several farmers markets and small produce stands in the area, there has never been a market survey to determine if the vendors are meeting the needs of the customer base. The hope is to gather information directly from individuals and businesses that will assist our members and other vendors in providing the needed and desired fresh produce in a timely manner.

Objectives/Performance Targets

The purpose of the grant was to gather market data from customers and other potential customers such as local restaurants.  The process was designed to take two years. The first year was used to create and distribute surveys to vendors and customers, interview local restaurant owners, and analyze the data. A survey was created to ask specific questions in hope of better understanding the needs the consumer (surveys attached). As the surveys are returned they are given to the market manager to begin to analyze the potential results. After all surveys are completed the market manger, with the assistance of the project coordinator, will create graphs and tables that can be given to members and other produce vendors in our area. In year two, we will begin to analyze the results of the venders having this information. Workshops will be developed to share this valuable information to vendors and our members. After the results of the surveys have been communicated, we will begin to help our members understand how to better plant crops that are desired in their region.


Surveys were created for both customers and vendors. The project coordinator has attended all farmers markets in the area and handed out surveys. At each market the manager talks to as many customers as possible and collects the surveys as they are completed. In addition to setting up a booth at the local farmers markets the project coordinator has visited with each vendor to have a vendor survey completed. The coordinator has visited several restaurants in the area to determine the produce needed and the amount needed in each growing season.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

Since the project is just ending the data collection phase, there is not much to report in regards to impacts and contributions. The project can report that the vendors, customers and farmers have been very pleased with the study. The vendors and farmers have indicated that a study is needed to help them better provide the desired produce. The project is beginning to analyze the data collected and will soon provide vendors and farmers with results. Farmers will have the opportunity to come to workshops for presentation of data results.