Harvesting Data to Grow Farmers Markets

By Katie Vaughn, University of Wisconsin-Madison, College of Letters & Science

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Learn why we created MIFI and how we hope you will use it.

From the article: “Less than a month into her job as director of special events for the Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership, Dusty Krikau was tasked with overhauling one of the organization’s signature projects, the city’s farmers market. The mission was to move the market from a parking lot, where it had been held for more than a decade, to Main Street. There, traffic would shut down each Saturday from mid-May through October so patrons could shop and visit surrounding downtown businesses. ‘Some people were very vocally not okay with the change,’ says Krikau. ‘I knew data would verify that what we were doing would make sense. But we had nothing to stand on.’”

Main Street Story of the Week: Farmers Market Impact

By Lauren Suerth, University of Wisconsin-Madison, MIFI Project Director

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Main Street America featured MIFI as a Story of the Week. The article explains the pilot study that developed MIFI.

From the article: “MIFI provides farmers markets with the means to develop customized knowledge that enhances their internal decision-making and external communication activities. Markets select metrics that will help them understand and evaluate their performance within the context of their goals, their community, and in this case, the Main Street initiatives… The process of reviewing and selecting metrics can provoke local managers and state organizations to think about their potential impacts. This information is important to markets because it enhances their ability to provide credible and detailed facts about their activities and rich descriptions about their role within their community over time.”