Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Agricultural & Extension Education

Committee Chair

Harry N. Boone

Committee Co-Chair

Deborah A. Boone

Committee Member

Cheryl Brown

Committee Member

Thomas McConnell

Committee Member

Patrick Nestor


Farmers markets have been a part of the food industry in the United States for almost as long as history (Webber, 2010). With farmers markets increasing in popularity and numbers, a need exists to determine why some markets thrive while others fail. A review of literature yielded some regional information however no information specific to West Virginia has been found. The purpose of this study is to determine the role of management has on the economic success of farmers markets in West Virginia. This research uses descriptive correlational research in doing comparison of the management styles in the market and the effect it has on economic profitability. The population for the study was 85 farmers markets and they received a survey of 50 questions. Survey was based on a regional survey by the USDA in 2006 conducted by Ragland and Tropp (2009). The final set of useable surveys consisted of 56 markets for a 65.88% rate of return. Findings showed that the variables of market management structure, volunteer/paid status of the manager, size of the market, and age of the market did not demonstrate a significant difference between the variables and market economic success. Twenty markets self-reported in the "successful category" (37.7%). Only 16 of the markets paid their manger with 50% of these markets paying {dollar}2,000.00 or less. A majority of the markets were using volunteers for management. A discriminant analysis determined that "years of operation" was the only factor which impacted the "successful" market status. Based on these findings future work needs to be conducted to determine the management structure which is working in the successful markets in West Virginia.