As Farmers' Markets Grow, So Should Management, Indicates OSU Study

Jul 23, 2008

Farmers' markets are rapidly growing in number in Oregon and throughout the United States and a key to their potential success can be found in how they approach growth and management, according to new research at Oregon State University.

OSU College of Agricultural Sciences researchers polled 53 Oregon farmers' market organizers of varying sizes about how they manage their markets. The results are published in new report from the OSU Extension Service, “Understanding the Link Between Farmers' Market Size and Management Organization.”

The study indicates that organizers of successful farmers' markets are those that plan ahead for future growth, explained Garry Stephenson, associate professor in the OSU Department of Crop and Soil Science and co-author of the report.

"We learned that the most successful farmers' market managers need to be careful to avoid outgrowing their management structure," said Stephenson. "To be ready for future growth, organizers should plan or implement appropriate management practices to match an anticipated market size. Plus, markets that have reached their goal for size should being using size-appropriate management tools."

Stephenson, a small farms specialist, and his colleagues Larry Lev, professor of agricultural and resource economics and Linda Brewer, faculty research assistant in horticulture, collected management information on markets ranging in size from micro (eight or fewer vendors) to large (55 or more vendors).

"We saw an increase in number of management tools and an increase in management complexity as markets increase in size," said Stephenson.

Their key findings include:

• Markets of different size categories use difference management tools. As they grow, smaller markets add structures like the use of site maps and boards of directors. Larger markets add management complexity as they grow such as additional employees and sophisticated planning and budgeting.

• Matching management tools to current or anticipated market size makes best use of valuable resources and may reduce internal management problems.

• There is an important transition between small sized-markets of nine to 25 vendors and medium-sized markets (26-55 vendors). Small markets anticipating growing into a medium-sized market should be prepared and add a salaried manager, rather than a volunteer, to handle market operations.

"Keeping farmers' markets open and operating efficiently is important both for the farmers that sell at these markets and the communities these markets serve," said Stephenson.

The report, “Understanding the Link Between Farmers' Market Size and Management Organization” (SR 1082-E) is available online at no charge at: extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/pdf/sr/sr1082-e.pdf

Source: OSU

Explore further: Can science eliminate extreme poverty?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Intel makes new moves on Edison: Atom yes, Quark no

Apr 02, 2014

(Phys.org) —Last month's Intel blog post by an Intel VP, Michael Bell, announced the latest enhancements for Edison, the company's platform with built-in wireless, targeted for builders of small form factor ...

Energy management in the cloud

Apr 04, 2014

Siemens is enabling smaller municipal utility companies to market energy from renewable sources through the cloud. The solution's main element is a cloud-based energy management system that combines distributed ...

Clean reviews preceded Target's data breach, and others

Apr 02, 2014

Trustwave Holdings gave Target Corp. the green light on payment card security last September, just weeks before malware installed on the retailer's networks began sucking up customer information in a mega data heist.

Green engineering for waste management

Apr 01, 2014

"Green engineering" is based on the idea of designing, selling and using processes and products that are technically and economically viable while, at the same time, minimizing pollution, as well as health ...

Recommended for you

Can science eliminate extreme poverty?

Apr 16, 2014

Science has often come to the rescue when it comes to the world's big problems, be it the Green Revolution that helped avoid mass starvation or the small pox vaccine that eradicated the disease. There is ...

Japan stem cell body splashes cash on luxury furniture

Apr 14, 2014

A publicly-funded research institute in Japan, already embattled after accusing one of its own stem cell scientists of faking data, has spent tens of thousands of dollars on designer Italian furniture, reportedly to use up ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the ...

Can new understanding avert tragedy?

As a boy growing up in Syracuse, NY, Sol Hsiang ran an experiment for a school project testing whether plants grow better sprinkled with water vs orange juice. Today, 20 years later, he applies complex statistical ...

Roman dig 'transforms understanding' of ancient port

(Phys.org) —Researchers from the universities of Cambridge and Southampton have discovered a new section of the boundary wall of the ancient Roman port of Ostia, proving the city was much larger than previously ...

Crowd-sourcing Britain's Bronze Age

A new joint project by the British Museum and the UCL Institute of Archaeology is seeking online contributions from members of the public to enhance a major British Bronze Age archive and artefact collection.

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...