Member Survey Results
Of the 157 total respondents, 84 described themselves as gardeners. Farmers and farm workers made up the next largest category of respondents, with 72 responses, followed by food enthusiasts (53) and homesteaders (51). Respondents were able to choose more than one option. Of the 51 total commercial farmers who responded, 30 were not certified organic, and 21 were certified organic. Other categories not represented in the chart included:
- Farmers Market Staff/Board
- CSA Member
- Ag Non-profit
Of those who responded to the survey, the greatest number of members said that they value NOFA-VT’s advocacy on food & farm issues most highly (38%), followed closely by being part of a movement (36%).
In addition to the five options provided, comments also mentioned that members value educational offerings such as the Winter Conference, and NOFA-VT’s support for organic food and farming.
Out of 157 total respondents, 60% (or 94 members) expressed interest in getting more involved with NOFA-VT in some way. Of the options provided, the highest number of respondents were interested in the following activities:
- Hosting an on-farm workshop or pizza social (31% or 29 members)
- Participating in advocacy work (29% or 27 members)
- Sharing a skill (29% or 27 members)
By far, challenges related to commercial farming or processing were most frequently mentioned by survey respondents. Specifically, comments referred to financial challenges (24.7%), technical challenges (20.6%), and market challenges (18.6%).
Other themes (not shown in the chart) mentioned less frequently included:
- Succession Planning
- Consumer Education re: Organic
- Financial (individual)
- Technical (small-scale)
- Food Access
- Making Connections
- Support for Family Farms
- Markets (small-scale)
- Political Climate
Member benefits that received the highest number of combined “most valuable” (5) and “very valuable” (4) ratings were Bulk Order discounts, Winter Conference discounts, and Classifieds & Calendar listings.
Benefits that received the highest number of combined “not very valuable” (2) and “least valuable” (1) ratings were Apprentice/Farm Worker Directory listings (67 responses) and Summer Conference discounts (66 responses).
The member communication tools cited as the most frequently used were NOFA Notes (64%), The Natural Farmer (50%), and the monthly e-newsletter (40%). Those cited as the least frequently used included social media (61%), phone/email (52%), and Classifieds/Calendar listings (45%).
When asked whether they would prefer an electronic version of NOFA Notes, our quarterly print newsletter, 45% of respondents said yes, and 55% said no, they prefer the print version.