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We are asking you to participate in a research survey on consumer participation and farmer sales at farmers markets. The survey is being organized by Todd M. Schmit, Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University, in association with the Farmers Market Federation of New York, Cornell Cooperative Extension – Broome County (NY), Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture in Massachusetts, Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, Maryland Farmers Market Association, and University of Maryland Extension.


What the study is about

Food choices are an integral part of our health and well-being. Interest in purchasing food sourced from nearby farmers and growers has gained interest and appeal in recent years. Due to a variety of reasons, some people are very interested in purchasing local foods while others are not. This survey focuses on the purchasing habits by all types of consumers for local foods in general, and specifically at local farmers markets, as well as the barriers to participating in and purchasing local foods at farmers markets.


What we will ask you to do

We value everyone’s opinion, whether you shop at farmers markets a lot, a little, or not at all, and whether you shop for local food specifically or not. Opinions of all types of food consumers are critical to the success of this work. By consenting to participate in this study, we will ask you to complete an online survey about your food purchasing habits overall, for local foods, and at farmers markets. The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. However, only one survey per household should be completed, by the household’s primary food purchaser. You must also be at least 18 years of age to participate.


Risks and discomforts

We do not anticipate any risks from participating in this research.



While participating in the survey will not benefit you directly, we hope to learn more about consumers’ interest in purchasing local foods, where they like to buy them, and the barriers to expanding local food sales, particularly through farmers markets. Accordingly, the results will be useful to us in identifying specific solutions that farmers markets managers and vendors can take to reduce the barriers consumers face in more fully participating.


Compensation for participation



Privacy/Confidentiality/Data Security

We anticipate that your participation in this online survey presents no greater risk than everyday use of the Internet. The surveys will be completely anonymous; no personal identifiers (e.g., name, address) will be asked for or recorded. However, we do ask for your county and state of residence to allow us to do state-level analyses, where appropriate.


Data Sharing

Data from this study may be shared with the research community at large to advance science and health. As personal identifiers will not be collected, other researchers, by current scientific standards and known methods, will be unable to identify you from the information we share. Despite these measures, we cannot guarantee anonymity of your personal data.


Taking part is voluntary

Taking part in this study is voluntary. You may refuse to participate before the survey begins, discontinue at any time, or skip any questions that make you feel uncomfortable. If you decide not to take part or to skip some of the questions, it will not affect your current or future relationship with Cornell University or with any of the collaborators mentioned above.


If you have questions

The main researcher conducting this survey is Todd M. Schmit, an Associate Professor at Cornell University. If you have any questions regarding the survey you may contact Todd [email protected] or at 607-255-3015. You should also feel free to reach out to any of the collaborating organizations listed above. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your rights as a subject in this study, you may contact the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Human Participants at 607-255-5138 or access their website at You may also report your concerns or complaints anonymously through Ethicspoint online at or by calling toll free at 1-866-293-3077. Ethicspoint is an independent organization that serves as a liaison between the University and the person bringing the complaint so that anonymity can be ensured.