SCALE, inc.

Douglas County Farmers Market Assessment


In 2016, SCALE completed an assessment of the six farmers markets in and around Lawrence, KS, developing both individual plans for each market to expand and improve, as well as a strategy for how the markets can better coordinate, collaborate and promote local food purchases.  Over the course of several months, Anthony and Meg visited each of the markets in the county on a couple of occasions, surveying farmers, vendors and customers, and holding in-depth interviews with several dozen key stakeholders.  We also organized focus groups to better understand what customers are looking for at farmers markets and why some people don’t shop there.  Considerable background research and interviews were also undertaken with farmers market leaders and managers in other parts of the country, to provide both context and ideas for new approaches.   Since completing the study, local leaders have moved forward with implementing some parts of the plan, including developing a new design for the county’s flagship market in downtown Lawrence.  An executive summary of our findings and recommendations is available below.