Estimating Impact of Road Side Stands on Wayne County Direct Sales of Produce

Worksite Location
Newark, NY, CCE - Wayne County
Project Dates
May 15 – Aug 15 2019
Faculty Sponsor
Todd M. Schmit
Other Campus-Based Mentors/Supervisors
Heidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman, Senior Extension Associate, Community & Regional Dev. Institute; Anu Rangarajan, Director, Cornell Small Farms Program
Field Mentors/Supervisors
Beth Claypoole, Executive Director, Ag Issues Leader CCE – Wayne County. Nutrition and Local Food Resource Educator
Wages Up To
Project Summary and Intended Outcomes

As the number of small farms increases in Wayne County, there are more and more roadside stands going up around the county. The local extension agent has commented that on her way to work, which is a 10 mi drive on back roads, she has counted 3, and there are another 3 on the road just north of the Cooperative Extension Center.  It is estimated that at least 50 farm stands are operating in the county. Statewide, it has been reported that participation in farmers’ markets is decreasing. Is the increase in the number of roadside stands impacting other marketing channels for fresh produce? This study will try to map the location and number of farms stands in Wayne County, determine the total tonnage and value of produce sold in these stands, and determine other marketing channels used by these farms and changes in marketing channel portfolios of these farms over the last three years.  

Roles and Responsibilities

Student will work with local extension staff and specialists to map location and starting date of farm stands and to estimate total number of farm stands in Wayne County. Identification of previous stands no longer in operation will also be attempted, but will be more difficult to accurately assess. Based on the total number, a random sampling of 25% of existing farm stands will be surveyed to determine the mix of produce sold, months of operation, total tonnage sold, and the total value of sales. The student will help develop the survey and analyze the data from its implementation to determine how the use of farm stands has changed in the last three years and the degree to which their start ups has influenced other channel participation, particularly farmers’ markets. Two articles will be written summarizing the project and empirical results that can be used in local newsletters and newspapers.  

Qualifications and Previous Coursework

1. Coursework in agriculture production, food systems, marketing, and/or communications. 2. Demonstrated interest, knowledge, and/or experience in agriculture and/or food systems. 3. Ability to research, collect, and document data and information. 4. Ability to create and implement surveys. 5. Ability to organize and facilitate conversations with farmers participating in local market channels 6. Ability to prepare and deliver presentations. 7. Ability to work independently and as a team member. 8. Strong computer, communication, and analytical skills. 

Benefits and Skills

1. Increase knowledge and understanding of local food systems and related resources. 2. Gain research experience in primary data collection; including survey design, survey administration, and data analysis. 3. Gain experience and knowledge on how to gather, document, and present information, data, and research results in formats suitable to general public audiences 4. Gain understanding about how farmers make market channel selections and their impacts on total and net farm income, recognizing financial and human resource requirements vary by channel. 5. Gain experience and a better understanding of cooperative extension work, including project collaborations between faculty and extension staff.