Cover of the report.

Discover Michigan Fresh Program at Midland Farmers Market Impact Report


March 9, 2023 -

Michigan State University (MSU) Extension delivers affordable, relevant, evidence-based education to help adults, young people, and families in urban and rural communities be healthy. Programs focus on helping participants gain the skills they need to buy and prepare nutritious, budget-friendly foods; increase their physical activity; breastfeed their babies; and stretch their food dollars.

Discover Michigan FreshDiscover michigan fresh welcome

Discover Michigan Fresh farmers market program helps SNAP-Ed eligible residents get to know their local farmers markets and explore Michigan-grown produce. This program encourages participants to shop at their farmers market for nutritious and affordable foods that keep their dollars local.

Michigan State University Extension’s Community Nutrition Instructors join participants at the farmers market each week where they meet local farmers, learn the nutritional benefits of eating a featured fruit or vegetable, engage in live food demonstrations, and sample an easy to prepare and nutrient-dense seasonal-based recipe.

Below is a summary of the Discover Michigan Fresh programming that took place at the Midland Farmers Market during the summer and fall of 2022. Community Nutrition Instructors provided nutrition education to a total of 57 participants through five different series. Participants were asked to complete a pretest and posttest survey at the beginning and end of the program, respectively. The following data include participants who completed both a pre and posttest assessment. Missing data was excluded case wise.

Attitudes and Behaviors Toward Shopping at the Farmers Market

The graph below shows the proportion of participants who reported increases in attitudes and behaviors towards shopping at a farmers market, including overall comfort of shopping at a farmers market, using SNAP benefits, talking with vendors about produce, and purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables.

attitude towards farmers markets

Confidence in Shopping Behaviors


The graph below shows the proportion of participants who reported improvements in their self- efficacy (SE) towards shopping at a farmers market.

confidence shopping

Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

The graph below shows the proportion of participants who reported increases in fruit and vegetable consumption.

fruit and veg consumption

Additionally, participants were asked to rate their overall health (1 = “Poor” to 5 = “Very Good”) as well as their confidence in their ability to eat fruits and vegetables daily. Below is the improvement from pretest to posttest.

  • 19% Improvement in self-rated health scores

  • 24% Improvement in confidence to eat fruits and vegetables daily

Success Stories

Maggie Dougherty, MSU Extension Community Nutrition Instructor, had this to say about her nutrition class at the Midland Farmer’s Market from August 2022:

“This was a great group! Very energetic and engaged in the program. They enjoyed doing the scavenger hunts at the market every week. In season fruits and vegetables were showcased and they we able to taste each one and received facts sheets about the fruits and vegetables showcased. Participants were glad they took part in the class because of knowledge gained, interaction with the farmers and being able to learn more about the produce that was in season and how to use and store the same. They were all interested in more classes and trying new fruits and vegetables.”

Karen Parker says this about her program from this summer:

“The Discover MI Fresh classes I held at the Midland Farmer's Market were very rewarding. All participants were engaged and looked forward to each class. I shared tips and tricks with various veggies, as well as recipes. Everyone expressed how they enjoyed the classes and how much they learned.”

Farmers Market Coupon Distribution and Redemption Rates

  • 1,325 Coupons distributed
  • 84% Redemption rate
  • $2,226 Spent at Midland Farmers Market


A total of 57 participants attended programming over five series. Below is a breakdown of their demographic profile.


  • 77% Female
  • 23% Male


  • 58% 18-59
  • 42% 60+


  • Prefer not to Respond: 1
  • White: 54
  • Black: 1
  • Asian: 1


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