The City of Moscow is conducting an assessment of the Moscow Farmers Market to determine its economic and social value for the community.According to the Idaho Department of Commerce, the Moscow Farmers Market was voted the most popular market in Idaho.
Because of its growing popularity, the city decided to hire staff and bring in volunteers to conduct the value assessment.
Amanda Argona, a city employee through AmeriCorps, has been using surveys developed by a non-profit organization called Market Umbrella to collect data from consumers and marketers. The data will help determine the dollar value of the market, and better pin point the wants and needs the city must fill to keep the market a success.
Market Umbrella was designed to support farmers markets across the country. Two surveys developed by the organization are being used for the Moscow Farmers Market value assessment.
The first survey is called the Sticky Economic Evaluation Device. Argona and local volunteers implemented this survey Sept. 28. The survey, which asked economic-based questions, was distributed by volunteers to consumers at the market. The survey asked how much money the consumer had spent that day, if the consumer planned on spending more money at the market while they shopped, and if the consumer was planning to visit or spend money at local businesses. The data from the survey will help assign an exact dollar amount to the value of the farmers market.
The second survey Argona and her volunteers will distribute to shoppers is called the Neighborhood Exchange Evaluation Device, and is also provided by Market Umbrella.
“That’s the beautiful part of this study … it’s a free resource and the questions were developed by Market Umbrella,” Argona said. “We put volunteers at tables, we gave them sheets. Each sheet had about seven questions, and they took about two minutes to fill out.”
Argona also gave consumers an incentive for completing the surveys. Everyone who filled out a survey Sept. 28 was given a raffle ticket to win a carton of apples from a local marketer.
“We had a huge plastic bag filled with tickets by the end,” Amanda said.
The research, information and statistics will help the city earn grant money that can fund new programs for the market.
The second survey will be distributed at the market Saturday.
In the past, the city has done rapid assessments of the farmers market, but not one as in depth as the one now being conducted.
“The city definitely has a faint idea of what the market’s value is. We will use these new studies to look for harmony among the economic and the social impact of the farmers market,” Argona said.
Volunteers are still needed to help hand out surveys and collect data for the city, Argona said. Interested students can contact Argona via email at email@example.com or by phone at 208-883-7036.
Volunteers will help pass out surveys, ask questions and count the number of adults that attend the market.
The survey will be given during regular market hours on Saturday.
Danielle Wiley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org