Jones County Local Foods – 2012
Farmers markets are an important source of local food. They provide farmers and consumers with a place to meet. USDA estimates that over 5,200 farmers markets exist in the US and their numbers are also growing in North Carolina. Little data exists regarding the economic impact farmers markets in eastern NC have on the economy.
N.C. Cooperative Extension is trying to help answer the question, “How much value or income does this market generate?” Using a survey instrument designed by economist and pollster Ed Renwick at Loyola University and organized by the Crescent City Farmers Market in New Orleans and Outpost Design, the Sticky Economic Evaluation Device (S.E.E.D.) gives farmers markets vendors and operators a way to measure their economic impact. The results from a S.E.E.D. survey provides a scientific way to determine the economic impact farmers markets have.
With the help of Master Gardener volunteers in Onslow County and various citizens in Lenoir County over 400 responses were collected from customers at farmers markets this summer regarding their spending. Additional survey work will be conducted at the New Bern Farmers Market later this summer/fall.