The University of Iowa

Maquoketa Farmers Market Organizational and Policy Study

Photo of fresh veggies at a farmers market. NPR
Academic Year 
2021-2022
College/Department 
Planning & Public Affairs
Project Partner 

As part of their capstone project, second-year graduate students from the Master of Public Affairs program developed a list of organizational and policy recommendations to strengthen the Maquoketa Farmers Market and to increase regional collaboration and access to local foods.  

A team of graduate students from the School of Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Iowa worked collaboratively with representatives of the Maquoketa Farmers Market and other community stakeholders to develop innovative approaches to strengthening and building the capacity of the market, while identifying and addressing challenges unique to the organization. A secondary goal was to provide a starting point for the implementation of a collaborative food system and increased regional partnerships in Jackson County to promote sustainability, economic activity, access to local foods, and community engagement.

The team conducted a review of academic literature regarding nonprofit organizational structures, local food access policy, sustainability, regionalism, and community outreach. Additionally, the team engaged relevant stakeholders conducting interviews with city and county officials, board members, farmers market managers, and other nonprofit organizations. Finally, the team organized and facilitated a strategic planning process with the Maquoketa Farmers Market Board, including a SWOT analysis and a proposed update to the mission statement: “The Maquoketa Farmers Market's mission is to support area producers, educate consumers on the availability of local foods, and foster a sense of community.”