This past February, ASAP’s Local Food Research Center sent a survey to all Appalachian Grown (AG) certified farms. The purpose of this survey was to help us understand the experiences of farmers, assess the impact of program services and support, and gather feedback to shape the program’s future direction. We are very pleased to share that we received responses from 254 farms.
Our 2016 AG Producer Survey Report contains the findings from the survey and a summary of selected survey results from over the last four years. Highlights from our findings:
- Approximately 1/2 Appalachian Grown (AG) certified farmers are new or beginning farmers: 46% of farmers have been farming for 10 years or less compared to the national average of 25%.
- Approximately 3/4 of AG farmers’ sales were direct in both 2015 and 2016.
- The majority of AG farmers’ total products (81%) were sold to markets within 100 miles of Asheville.
- Almost half of AG farmers sold products to new markets in 2016.
- The majority of farmers (80%) hope to expand into new markets in 2017 – Restaurants are the market that the greatest number of farmers hope to expand into, followed by on farm sales.
- Customers are asking for AG certified products – 44% of farmers reported that customers are asking for AG certified products.