Farmers' Market Manager's Level of Communication and Influence on Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Adoption at Midwest Farmers' Markets.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To understand market managers' level of communication and use of technology that might influence decision to adopt Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) at farmers' markets.

DESIGN

Cross-sectional study using the Theory of Diffusion of Innovation.

SETTING

Electronic survey administered in midwest states of Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

PARTICIPANTS

Farmers' market managers in Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES

Information on EBT adoption, market managers' communication, and technology use.

ANALYSIS

Binary logistic regression analysis with EBT adoption as the dependent variable and frequency of technology use, partnership with organizations, farmers' market association (FMA) membership, Facebook page and Web site for the market, and primary source of information as independent variables. Chi-square tests and ANOVA were used to compare states and adopter categories.

RESULTS

Logistic regression results showed that the odds of adopting EBT was 7.5 times higher for markets that had partnership with other organizations. Compared with non-adopters, a significantly greater number of early adopters had partnership, FMA membership, and a Facebook page and Web site for market, and reported to a board of directors.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS

Markets that had partnership, FMA membership, a Facebook page and Web site, and mandatory reporting to a board of directors were important factors that influenced EBT adoption at midwest farmers' markets.

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