Designing Effective, Scalable Data Collection Tools to Measure Farmers Market Impacts


  • Darlene Wolnik Farmers Market Coalition
  • Jennifer Cheek Farmers Market Coalition
  • Marian Weaver Farmers Market Coalition



Metrics, Farmers Markets, Measurement, Retail, Farmers, Direct Marketing, Economy, Indicators, Food System Analysis, Data, Market Vendors, Ecology, Methodology, Data Collection, Local Foods Toolkit


The need for an updated framework for all types of farmers markets and the varied levels of capacity to share the impacts of their work led to the develop­ment of the Farmers Market Metrics (Metrics) program at the Farmers Market Coalition (FMC), a nonprofit working to strengthen farmers markets across the country. This essay provides a timeline of the steps and partnerships that led to the creation of this program, including the exploration of existing data collection systems suitable for grassroots markets, observations from markets engaged in evaluation, feedback by pilot users of the Metrics system, and best practices and recom­mendations uncovered during the development of Metrics.

See the press release for this article. 

Note: A revised article was published on July 14, 2020. The revisions include clarifying the role of Dr. Morales and the timeline of the USDA AFRI grant (described on pp. 13–14) and authorship of the Morales & Padilla source (footnote 5 and references section, p. 25).


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Author Biographies

Darlene Wolnik, Farmers Market Coalition

Senior Advisor

Jennifer Cheek, Farmers Market Coalition

Executive Director

Marian Weaver, Farmers Market Coalition

Metrics Program Manager

Special issue on Economics of Local Food Systems



How to Cite

Wolnik, D., Cheek, J., & Weaver, M. (2020). Designing Effective, Scalable Data Collection Tools to Measure Farmers Market Impacts. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 8(C), 9–25.