Increasing Growers’ Quality of life through Direct Marketing: The Role of Farmers’ Markets and Consumer Supported Agriculture
This research examines a farmers market in North Carolina and serves as a case study. The overall goal of this research project is to identify ways in which growers in North Carolina can improve their quality of life by increasing the community’s support for local agricultural products. Our approach combines farmers’ and consumers’ actions, beliefs and their particular interests in improving the local farmers market. The aim of the applied research design was to increase retention and communication amongst farmers and consumers. Data were obtained from consumer and farmer surveys, and focus groups held among farmers. Results from the data analyses provide recommendations for market managers, farmers and consumers.
This research project and educational program has several specific objectives. They are:
1. To identify consumers’ motivations for coming to a growers’ market;
2. To identify growers’ opportunities to increase sales through direct marketing;
3. To increase opportunities for consumer supported agriculture arrangements;
4. To strengthen grower – consumer linkages; and
5. To develop a multifaceted education program to modify growers’ marketing strategies
and consumers’ purchasing patterns.
All of the data from interviews and surveys have been completed and the data entered for analysis.
Three workshops were conducted for farmers with the results of this project. In addition the media took note of the research emphasis on direct marketing at farmers markets. See below.
• August 13, 2003 “From Farm to Table: Some independent restaurants buying food from farm in area.” In Winston-Salem Journal. Written by Michael Hastings Journal Food Editor
• May 8, 2003 “Look Downtown for super markets.” Go Triad News and Record. Written by Jeri Rowe. P.4.
• May 2, 2003 “DGI hopes farmer’s market will add to downtown life.” The Business Journal. By Matt Harrington. p. 9
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
The project has had great success in raising the public attention of our farmers markets in the area. Farmers have benefitted from the research for they have learned what consumers enjoy best from their farmers markets experiences. Good pratices have been identified for farmers, not only at the farmers market where a lot of the research was conducted, but benefited the same farmers who market elsewhere in the community.
Goat Lady Dairy
3515 Jess Hackett Road
Climax, NC 27233
Office Phone: 3368242163
Piedmont Triad Farmers Market
Colfax, , NC
Office Phone: 3366059157
4658 Waynick Meadow Road
Asheboro, NC 27203
Office Phone: 3368572775