Despite the impact of “new agriculture,” a revival of farmers’ markets (FMs) occurred in recent years. Though urban environments have FMs, people often neglect to consider their existence and functions in rural areas. Moreover, a lack of research specifically related to rural, online markets exists. This article is an analysis of rural, online farmers’ market sellers in the Arkansas River Valley. It provides a brief history of FMs and review of literature associated with food, identity, and community. It also uses structural ritualization theory to explore community bonds, regional identity, and civic agriculture themes. Results suggest that online sellers rarely create close bonds with buyers, though they believe doing so is important. They seldom identify their products with their region, though they recognize the benefits. In viewing their FM work as civic agriculture, sellers perceive local food as individually beneficial, but fail to see its ability to alleviate wider social problems. Simultaneously, they contribute to local nonprofit food distribution networks.
Ulsperger, Jason, and Kristen Ulsperger. 2017. "Community, Regional Identity, and Civic Agriculture: A Structural Ritualization Analysis of Rural Online Farmers' Market Sellers." Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 32(2): Article 5. Available at: https://egrove.olemiss.edu/jrss/vol32/iss2/5