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Creating a Profile of the Grinnell Farmers Market

During the week ahead you are scheduled to come to Fairfield on Saturday the 22nd to visit the Fairfield Farmer's Market with Jim and Timlynn, to do our mid-term assessment of your internship progress, and to plan our activities for the last half of your time with us.

In advance of your visit on Saturday, it's back to the Grinnell Farmer's Market this week.

Based on:

    * The research you have found on farmers markets in Iowa,
    * The kind of data we have asked you to investigate and collect most recently, and
    * Your deepening understanding of the context that needs to be captured/considered in doing a rigorous model of an economic system.

We now need you to develop profiles of the Grinnell and Fairfield Farmers Markets.

Profile of the Grinnell Farmers Market

Your profile will be based on three elements:

    1) Direct observation (plan to be at the market from opening to closing this week)
    2) Research you have already been asked to do (past two weeks and the new assignments this week)
    3) Casual conversations with a purpose in which you engage at the market with buyers and sellers (NO SURVEY!)

Based on your previous visit to the market and the information we need you to gather you should develop some data collection sheets in advance of your going to the market - (perhaps Professor Andelson's students have some that they use for this kind of data collection?)

Grinnell Farmers Market in General

These are only some examples of data to collect, you will likely think of more:

    - How many vendors are there?
    - How many are ready and set up at the opening?
    - How many stay through to the end?
    - What are the peak activity hours?
    - From a quick survey of the license plates on vendors' vehicles about how many vendors come from which county?
    - How many vendors are selling: fresh produce, eggs, baked goods, processed goods [jams, jellies, sauerkraut, smoked jerky], plants & garden stuff, craft items; etc., etc.,
    - How many vendors are selling food to eat on site (e.g., ice cream, funnel cakes, sandwiches, glasses of beverages)
    - How many vendors sell combinations (eggs and something; produce and something else) you get the idea
    - What if any marketing event is focus of this market this week
    - What if any entertainment, demonstration, kids activities, etc., are going on during market - identify, describe and assess 'impact' on market
    - What kind of signage, where in town, points buyers to the market location
    - What kind of marketing (ads) showed up this week to promote the farmers market in the local newspapers, on the radio if there is one), on window signs downtown
    - What kind of marketing of the farmers market is done on campus - detail and describe.

Find out about the staff of the Grinnell Farmer's Market (may need to make some phone calls)

    - Who are they?
    - What are their roles?
    - What do they do?
    - Are these jobs volunteer or paid positions?
    - Are they stand alone volunteer/paid positions or are they part of a larger organization (e.g., Grinnell Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development org.... or what?
    - Do they have a budget? What percentage of it is used for marketing?
    - Where do they advertise?

Grinnell Market Vendor Profile

These are only some examples of data to collect, you will likely think of more:

    - What is each vendor selling (e.g., corn, beets, greens, peaches, plums, tomatoes, cookies, cakes, breads, eggs)
    - About what percentage of the total offerings by that particular vendor are in that particular item category

(Note: list everyone selling anything. If a vendor sells a combination of fresh produce and baked goods and jewelry/candles/ etc., etc., -- make note of that please and estimate about what percentage of their offerings are in these larger categories)

    - Estimated age of vendor (guesstimate)
    - Is vendor station operated by one person (gender please), two persons (genders), more (genders)
    - Is vendor station a table, back of truck, pile of boxes, etc., etc., - (trying to estimate cost in time of set up and tear down)

Ask them:

    - How far they've traveled to get to Grinnell market?
    - Do they come every week (or how often)?
    - Do they also sell at other farmers markets, if so, how do they do in Grinnell compared to other markets?
    - Do they only sell at farmers markets or do they have a stand at home or sell to local stores, restaurants and so on.
    - Do they have a number of repeat or a set of loyal customers?
    - What do they like/dislike about selling their wares at the Farmer's Market?

Grinnell Market Customer Profile

These are only some examples of data to collect, you will likely think of more:

    - Are there buyers waiting when the market opens? about how many? what's their profile (age, gender, that kind of stuff)
    - What are the peak hours for customer activity?
    - How well do customers seem to know the vendors (anecdotal observations based on what you see in general)
    - Are there some vendors who seem to attract more attention than others from customers - determine why
    -If there is some entertainment, demonstration, kids activity going on - what percentage of customers listen, watch, participate?
    - Estimated number of buyers in age categories: over 65; 51-65; 30-50: under 30; under 18 -- BUYERS not hang around folks
    - What are most people buying this week?
    - What is not attracting too many buyers this week?

Ask a random sample of representative buyers (at least 10):

    - How far they've traveled to get to Grinnell market;
    - Do they come every week (or how often);
    - Why they shop at Farmers Markets
    - What they see as the main benefits of buying at Farmers Markets

Once you get all this observational, conversational, and research data gathered, please develop a draft profile of the Grinnell Farmer's Market.

Make up data collection sheets for you to use in Fairfield on Saturday based on what was most/least helpful to you in Grinnell this week.