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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Data collection at farmers’ markets increasing success

By Anna Adams
Direct Marketing Team

While the pandemic brought about many changes, one thing that has remained consistent is farmers markets. Markets across Ohio were open in full swing this season and were buzzing with customers. Members of The Ohio State University Direct Marketing Team, as well as the Ohio Farmers Market Coalition and the Ohio Farmers Market Network visited many of these markets to speak to managers about their data collection methods. 

This three-year project is funded by the USDA’s North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Professional Development Project. The purpose of this project is to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of Ohio farmers markets’ work in data collection, and to help create a culture of shared data collection and use to increase farmers market sustainability and success. 

Speaking directly to market managers allowed for a deeper insight into what types of data these markets collect as well as where there is room for improvement in collection methods. 
Team members spoke to market managers across the state, from Cincinnati to Cleveland, to learn about how their markets collect and use the data. Reponses varied from some markets collecting no data to some using information from vendors and customers to acquire grants and sponsorships. 

The information gathered can help more markets understand their role in the local food system, and better understand how to best serve their customers. 

If you would like to learn more about this project, please contact Christie Welch at
This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under agreement number 2019-38640-29879 through the North Central Region SARE program under project number ENC19-185. USDA is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. 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.
Learn more about this project on the Knowledge Exchange Podcast: