The Farmers Market Metrics Project: A Research Brief on Scalable Data Collection in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metro
Keywords:Collaborative, Community-University Partnership, Farmers Markets, Market Managers, Metrics, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Primary Data Collection, Regional Food System, Vendors, Visitors
Maintaining funding for local and regional food system initiatives requires reliable data to demonstrate their impacts. Data that are specific to farmers markets in a localized context are not readily available. The Farmers Market Metrics Project is a three-way partnership between farmers markets, local government, and a university to elevate the capacity of the markets in the Minneapolis–St. Paul Metro region through regionally collected metrics to quantify their presence in the regional food system. In this research brief, we introduce the FM360 data collection method being developed by the project, which is scalable across geographic areas. Scalability is critical to making the data collection process adaptable and effective in cases involving multiple data sources and when flexibility is needed in defining the food system parameters to satisfy partners and prospective funders.
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