Local and Organic Food

Dane County Farmers' Market Surveys

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Identifying Transaction Costs for Consumers and Producers: A Case Study of the DCFM

Kathryn A. Carroll & Lydia Zepeda

At the request of the Dane County Farmers’ Market (DCFM) board, we are conducting a survey of DCFM vendors and customers. The project aims to identify any transaction costs (both internal and external) or impediments preventing potential customers from purchasing products at the DCFM. As the largest producer-only farmers’ market in the U.S., the market routinely attracts thousands of visitors and the waiting list for vendors is about 5 years (DCFM, 2015). However, the challenge facing this market (and likely other farmers’ markets in urban settings) is to be regarded not just as a source of entertainment and a tourist attraction, but as a primary venue for purchasing fresh produce and locally made goods. The results of this study will not only identify sales impediments for the DCFM, but also provide useful information for other markets operating in urban settings. As a secondary objective, this study will also estimate consumer demand for fruit and vegetable (F & V) intake, using individuals’ self-reported F & V consumption as a function of household meal preparation and production.


Zepeda, Lydia and Kathryn A. Carroll. 2016. Dane County Farmers’ Market Consumer Survey. UW-Madison, Department of Consumer Science. April 29, 2016. View Online

Lydia Zepeda and Kathryn A. Carroll. 2015. Dane County Farmers' Market Vendor Survey Report. UW-Madison, Department of Consumer Science. August 20, 2015. View Online