RVAg is currently seeking volunteers to participate in a Focus Group to select metrics to be used by both the Goochland Fairground Farmers Market and Manakin Market as part of a grant funded Market Metrics study. In partnership with the Farmers Market Coalition and the Virginia Farmers Market Association, both of RVAg’s markets were chosen to participate in the Market Metrics study.
Once a team of volunteers is chosen, we will select a date and time prior to May 1st to conduct the Focus Group. The Focus Group will be held at 2753 Dogtown Road in Goochland (across from the old school) and will take approximately 1.5 hours. Please contact Lisa Dearden by email if you’d like to participate, or call 804-314-9141.
Choosing meaningful and appropriate metrics can provide valuable insight into the market’s operations and impact within the community. The metric selection process requires some reflection on the goals of the market or one of its projects, will help guide decision-making and program planning over time, and illustrate all the different ways the market adds value to the community. We don’t need to choose dozens of metrics in order to make a good case; a small amount of good data speaks to a wide number of audiences.
In 2014, Farmers Market Coalition began work with the University of Wisconsin-Madison on a project titled Indicators for Impact: Farmers Markets as Leaders in Collaborative Food System Data Collection and Analysis. It was a three-year research project to identify and refine a set of metrics and data collection protocols.
Read the following quotes from markets participating in the Indicators for Impact project as they describe their process for choosing metrics:
“To determine which metrics to collect, the board of directors and the market manager considered the information shared by the project leaders and then discussed what information would also be helpful in terms of long-term planning for our market. We also want to better understand who our customers are and where they come from.”
“We chose metrics that will be of interest to our stakeholders and Board of Directors, but will not take too much time for our market team.”
“We focused first on the things we could easily collect and then thought about the metrics that would be most useful for us in supporting and expanding the market operations (particularly in terms of getting resources for a regular market manager).”
“Our metric selection gives us the ability to show what fresh, local food are easily accessed at our market, how many people walk or bike to the market, and how the local economy is growing through farming, backyard farming and entrepreneurship.”