Larry Lev, Linda Brewer, Garry Stephenson of Oregon State University Extension Service
The methods addressed in this guide can be applied to Seedy Saturday/Sunday events.
Most farmers markets lack information to make effective changes and improvements. We have designed three simple, low-cost methods to address the information gaps. The first two—attendance counts and dot surveys—are quantitative and can be used independently by markets. The third method is the more complete Rapid Market Assessment (RMA), which combines the two quantitative methods and a qualitative method called Constructive Comments and Observations (CCO). An RMA is a collaborative learning process in which a team of market managers and others study a host market in another area. The learning is two-way: both the host market and the visiting RMA team members gain knowledge and experience. The RMA team members— through new collaborative relationships with their peers—learn the data-gathering methods and how to examine their own markets more analytically. All three methods make efficient use of time and money, which are generally in short supply