Publication Date

Fall 2020

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dominique Gumirakiza (Director), Martin Stone, and Todd Willian

Degree Program

Department of Agriculture and Food Science

Degree Type

Master of Science


The number of farmers’ markets has been growing, but consumer attendance does not appear to rise at the same rate. The overall purpose of this study was to investigate primary reasons for not attending. Specific objectives were: (1) describe the consumer characteristics of individuals who do not attend farmers’ markets (2) investigate the consumer characteristics and market amenities that influence a consumer’s choice to not attend a farmers market (3) estimate the variables that impact a consumer’s level of interest in subscribing to a CSA and (4) assess and estimate the relationship between consumer characteristics and their willingness to pay for one pound of various locally grown produce items. A mail survey was distributed to 2,530 consumers in the South- Central Kentucky region. Consumer responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics, multinomial and ordered logit models, and a linear regression. Married, Caucasian males who live in a rural location and have a 2-year associate’s degree are likely to choose to not attend a farmers market. Most of these non-attendants are the primary shopper of their household. This finding was confirmed when the multinomial regression found that the only consumer characteristic that increases the probability of choosing to Never Attend a farmers market is the consumer’s primary shopper status (0.2274). A consumer’s education and their satisfaction with previous market experiences make them more likely to attend a market Very Frequently. The probabilities of these factors are .0463 and .1510, respectively. Consumers are less likely to subscribe to a CSA if they live in a rural area (0.1491). Yet, the likelihood of subscribing to a CSA is positively correlated with consumer interest in using an app to purchase fresh produce and household size. Respective marginal probabilities are 0.0472 and 0.0262. Finally, education is a consumer characteristic that increases a consumer’s willingness to pay for three of the four surveyed produce items, while age and marital status negatively impact their willingness to pay.


Agricultural Economics | Agriculture | Economics