Lecture on Farmers Markets on April 22

By UW-Fond du Lac

The Farmers Markets: Developing Indices for Measuring Sustainability will be the focus of a free lecture that will address one distributive component of the U. S. food system – farmers markets, at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 22, in the LGI Room (UC-114) at UW-Fond du Lac, 400 University Dr. 

Sustainability has become a key concept in shaping national and international policy, but is difficult to measure because of the subjective and multifarious nature of how it is defined and put into practice. One issue of universal concern is the sustainability of food systems around the world. 

This presentation addresses one distributive component of the U. S. food system – farmers markets.  Farmers markets have proliferated throughout the U. S. since the 1970s as part of a broader food movement. Yet, questions related to whether these markets enhance the attainment of defined sustainability goals remain unanswered.

Data from farmers markets research conducted throughout Wisconsin is utilized to report on efforts to develop a Farmers Market Sustainability Index (FMSI).  The FMSI is envisioned as a first step in the creation of a research tool to quantify and compare the level of sustainability of farmers markets here in Wisconsin and nationally.

Data is utilized to present measures associated with defined social, economic, health, and environmental goals. Each market is ranked from high to low sustainability and compared based on a numeric value.  Recommendations are subsequently suggested to develop and establish attainable sustainability goals commensurate with local resources and community resource management objectives.

Indices provide a new venue for discussing markets that are quantifiable and comparable across space.  The development of a FMSI is a method of analysis which will have applicability in the design of future research of farmers markets internationally.

The community is invited to this lecture presented by Kathleen Bubinas, UW-Waukesha Anthropology professor. 

This event is part of the Tuesday Talks lecture series on sustainability issues at UW-Fond du Lac. 


Laurie Krasin