Lake County farmers market feasibility study process

MSU Extension is asking community members to complete a survey.

Michigan State University (MSU) Extension and the Lake County Community Food Council are asking community members to participate in a survey process to determine if Lake County residents desire a community farmers market. Several possible farmers market models are being studied by Michigan State University Extension, including a traditional community farmers market, the idea of a mobile farmers market, a wild edible market and all possible locations and models as suggested by survey participants. 

Lake County has some sources for fresh, local produce. The Village of Luther hosted their own farmers market last summer, Chase Township is home of the Tiki Hut roadside farm stand, and a local farmer, Freddie Rosado, who also chairs the Lake County Community Food Council, operates a farm stand at several locations in Baldwin. Some area stores including Houseman’s Foods also features Michigan-grown produce on occasion. 

The survey asks community members about their interest in a farmers market, how much they think they might spend, what kind of a market they want and what locations they think would work best. All survey data from the public is collected anonymously. 

Paper surveys are available at Pathfinder Community Library, the Luther Library, the Lake-Osceola State Bank in Baldwin, at St. Ann’s Church and MSU Extension. As a community food systems educator with MSU Extension based in Grand Rapids I also hopes to do some community survey data collection at events and local retail stores in the coming months. 

Lake County residents that are interested can complete the survey online or feel free to contact Kendra Wills with MSU Extension at (616) 608-7424 and she can help you complete a survey over the phone. Responses will be accepted until June 1. 

A separate survey was mailed to local government officials. Research and site visits will continue this summer with the goal of a final report presented to the Lake County Community Food Council and Lake County Board of Commissioners by the end of 2016. 

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