Farmer Perspectives of Farm to Institution in Michigan: 2012 Survey Results of Vegetable Farmers

January 12, 2015

Local food purchasing programs at institutions such as K-12 schools, colleges and hospitals offer benefits including supporting farms and local economies, encouraging more healthful eating habits of patrons and fostering closer connections between farmers and consumers. Increasing in number and expanding in breadth, Farm to Institution (FTI) markets are promising outlets that may fulfill social and economic motivations for farmers. However, significant challenges and barriers have kept many from participating; farmers interested in this market will incur transaction costs, with high negotiation costs in particular due to product differentiation (in this case, by provenance) and less established markets and terms. Researchers have just begun to study farmers’ perspectives on FTI and, to date, have primarily done so through convenience sampling.


farm to institution, farmers, farm to school, local food, regional food systems, markets, transaction costs, vegetables



Matts, C., Connor, D. S., Fisher, C., Tyler, S., & Hamm, M. W. (2015). Farmer perspectives of farm to institution in Michigan: 2012 survey results of vegetable farmers. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. Cambridge University In Press 


Corresponding author

Colleen Matts 

A PDF of this research paper is available at: 


Mike Hamm

Mike Hamm

Colleen Matts

Colleen Matts

Colleen Matts, David S. Conner, Caitlin Fisher, Shakara Tyler, and Michael W. Hamm

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Center for Regional Food Systems

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