For Markets: A Quick Start Guide

Becoming an FM Metrics account holder

Please note:  If you have detailed questions not covered in this guide on the FMC website or on the recorded webinars, please fill out this form and an FMC staff person will be in contact.

The following pages explain the kind of information markets should collect, how to collect that information in ways that are statistically valid, how to manage the information once collected, and how to communicate it effectively to a broader audience.

Once you have paid your subscription for FM Metrics, these are the next steps:

1. Fill out the Metrics Audience Worksheet.

The Metrics Audience Worksheet helps your market decide which metrics to use, based on the particular needs and challenges of your market. Be sure to reference the full list of Available Metrics in Farmers Market Metrics. To make the most of the data you collect, metrics in this workbook are sorted by the type of data you collect.

2. Complete the Data Collection Worksheet.

 The Data Collection Worksheet will help you organize your markets plan for when, how and who will collect data.

3. Create an account on

Your account will be activated within 24 hours. Once your organizational account is set up, market profiles for each market that your organization runs should be created. Every unique location and/or day is considered a separate market and requires its own profile. For instance, if your market operates in the same location on Saturdays and Wednesdays, you would create two profiles. As all market managers know, a weekday and a weekend market can be very different in terms of products, amenities offered and even in the type of vendor. The profile will offer context to anyone analyzing that data.

4. Collect Data with FM Metrics.

Once market profiles are created, data can be collected. FMC spent several years refining collection methodologies that allow enough data to be added without unduly burdening the limited resources that farmers markets often face. These methods can be reviewed in the Data Collection Best Practices section of the site. They were tested by markets across the U.S. in partnership with researchers and network partners.  Occasionally, we understand that some markets have developed their own accepted methodologies for a particular situation but please contact Dar Wolnik at before deviating from the methods included in FM Metrics.

4. Use the Data.

Within each market account, individual and summary data can be immediately uploaded to social media, sent via email or downloaded to be added to reports. It is important that markets confirm that enough data has been collected and that the data entered has been doublechecked for accuracy before using. To protect vendors’ privacy, their individual data is not used. For any network partner to use data, markets have to join networks before those partners have access to the aggregate data.


Want to Learn More?

The FM Metrics Masters Course takes a deep dive into the methodology of data collection, aggregation, and analysis. Take a look at the History and Context section.