Results of the Inaugural Michigan Farmers Market Census Now Available

March 14, 2024 | Uncategorized

The Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA) is proud to announce the results of the inaugural Michigan Farmers Market Census.

The census was conducted by MIFMA in the spring of 2021 and included questions about the 2019 and 2020 market seasons. Respondents included 157 organizations representing 176 farmers markets who provided valuable information about their operations, vendor sales, compensation, and more. 

The goals of the census were to: 

  • Understand how Michigan markets operate and serve their communities 
  • Identify market needs for managers, vendors, and shoppers
  • Guide MIFMA’s programmatic and advocacy efforts to best support the future of Michigan farmers markets 
  • Understand how COVID-19 impacted market operations

“We work diligently to steward a culture of data collection amongst Michigan’s farmers market community so that we can empower ourselves and others to make decisions that impact markets, farmers and the communities in which they operate based on accurate and relevant information,” explains MIFMA’s Executive Director Amanda Shreve. “We are grateful to everyone who helped us embark on this data collection effort including the Advisory Committee that guided this work, the consultants who helped us collect and analyze the data, and most importantly the market manager that responded. Our gratitude will best be demonstrated when we put all of this great data to use to advocate for the resources Michigan farmers markets need to thrive.” 

Each market that completed the survey was eligible to receive a $50 stipend and a discount for registration to the 2021 Michigan Farmers Market Conference.

“In a field where market managers are commonly extremely underpaid for the role that they play, it was imperative to MIFMA that we were able to compensate market managers for providing this data,” notes Amanda. “We intend to conduct another census in 2025 to build on this data collection effort and track how farmers markets are changing over time and will again offer stipends to responding markets.” 

The briefs cover the following topics:

  • Food Assistance and Payment Processing
  • Data Collection and Evaluation
  • Market Manager Compensation
  • Market Operations
  • Vendors and Products
  • Locations and Infrastructure
  • COVID Impacts
  • Cottage Food

To learn more about the census and to review the results, click here or visit Markets interested in participating in the 2025 Census should ensure their contact information in MIFMA’s Find a Farmers Market Feature is up to date so that MIFMA may contact you with more information as it becomes available.