Farmers Markets and the Local Food System: The Case of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
This is a joint project created by the students of the Fall 2012 Environmental Studies Senior Seminar Class at Gettysburg College.
In order to examine and obtain a better understanding of the local food system within Adams County, Pennsylvania, this study explores the characteristics and perspectives of the customers and vendors at the farmers markets in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Survey findings from the Gettysburg Farmers Market and the three Adams County Farmers Markets include customer demographic information, perspectives and shopping behavior as well as vendor product information, farm size and location and preference for market management. Introductory background information on the Farm Bill and the influence of agricultural practices on the environment, human health and nutrition and the relationship between farmers markets and the local economy are offered in order to emphasize the value of a well-managed local food system. Conclusions provide evidence that lower income and lower education levels are not sufficiently represented at all the markets and food stamp programs are being underutilized. This study suggests employing additional marketing to target underrepresented demographic groups, public transportation to potentially inaccessible market locations and increased advertisement and encouragement of food stamp programs at all markets in order to expand the customer base and increase access to healthy, local foods for less advantaged citizens. The results from this study are intended to offer evidence that will promote and facilitate market management, strengthen customer/vendor relationships and encourage better ties between the local community and local food systems at the farmers markets within Gettysburg in Adams County, Pennsylvania.