Yusra Siddique ’16 spent her summer working with the Madison County Agricultural Economic Development (AED) program to organize Open Farm Day. On July 26, 35 farms and three farmers’ markets welcomed visitors to learn about the small farm production process. The event is unique and well publicized, and brings visitors from across the region. The event is designed to help small farms reach out to new customers in an attempt to help them compete with larger grocery chains that have the resources to reach a larger consumer base. Open Farm Day brings customers closer to the production process and shows them the value of local purchasing.
Yusra worked with the AED program to design and implement surveys that will help to understand the experience of the farmers and the visitors on Open Farm Day. She will use the collected data to assess how effectively Open Farm Day is in raising awareness about the local produce available in the community and increasing revenue generated by the small farms. The data will also determine how the event can be improved to better serve farmers and visitors.
Yusra is an economics major from Pakistan and used skills that she developed in the Introduction to Statistics course at Colgate to design and analyze the data collection portion of her project this summer. The experience also gave her valuable information about event organization. She intends to pursue a career as a research analyst, and the fellowship at the AED program has given her an opportunity to strengthen research skills that will be critical in her chosen field in the future.