University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division of Agriculture
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Abstract

This study examines the perceptions of both consumers and producers towards farmers’ markets. Consumer perceptions are generalized from several previous studies conducted throughout the United States. Producer information was gathered through a survey of members of one farmers’ market in Arkansas. Previous studies, conducted in both rural and urban areas, indicate that the typical famers’ market customer is well educated and is of higher than average income. These consumers place great importance on quality of produce, knowledge that produce is grown locally, and the social interaction obtained through the farmers’ market experience. For producers, the farmers’ market is an important outlet for produce and in many cases accounts for all of their produce sales. The survey results suggest that there is an interest in expansion on the part of many producers and that additional acreage is available for growing produce crops. In addition to providing a market outlet, producers also benefit from the social dimension of the market.

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