Video of Innovations in On-Farm Marketing in New England

Final Report for ENE97-030

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 1997: $18,233.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2001
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $1,787.00
Region: Northeast
State: Vermont
Project Leader:
Dr. Vern Grubinger
University of Vermont
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Project Information

Summary:

A 49-minute video called “Farmers and Their Diversified Horticultural Marketing Strategies” was completed in 1999. In it, fourtenn farmers from eight farms in the Northeast were interviewed about their horticultural marketing practices. The farmers describe their approaches to the use of: roadside stand, farmers market, large-scale CSA, multiple markets, Internet sales, pick-your-own, restaurant sales, and wholesale cooperative. Based on evaluations returned, 84% of viewers said the video increased their knowledge of farm marketing options; 76% said the video would improve the marketing advice they give to others, and 64% said the video will help them conduct educational programs on marketing.

Project Objectives:

To increase the knowledge of extension educators about a range of horticultural marketing strategies and methods.

To provide a tool for extension educators that enhances their capacity to explain and explore marketing options with their clients

Educational Approach

Educational approach:
  • Eight farms in four northeastern states were filmed during the1998 growing season. In response to input from project advisors, filming covered a variety of marketing strategies and experiences, beyond the intent of the original proposal, which was to cover only direct marketing innovations. Articulate, experienced farmers were asked to take part in the project. Topics covered included: roadside stand, farmers’ markets, large-scale CSA, multiple markets (roadside, CSA, farmer markets), Internet sales, pick-your own, restaurant sales, and wholesale cooperative sales.

    There were fourteen farmers interviewed at the eight farms; they were asked to address the following questions during the video interviews:

    Briefly describe your farm operation: location, crop mix, relevant history, people involved.
    Describe your primary markets and how they evolved.
    What are the keys to your marketing success?
    What innovations have you made in recent years that enhanced your marketing?
    Are there innovations you tried that did not work out? If so, why?
    How do you analyze or assess your markets and customer satisfaction and desires?
    What trends do you see in marketing for horticulture?
    What advice would you give to other farms regarding marketing?

    About an hour of raw footage was taped at each farm. Audio from the raw footage was transcribed to produce a text, which was then edited several times in the studio to obtain the desired verbal information. Video footage was then matched to audio and over the course of several months, and after extensive editing the final 49-minute video was produced.

    An order form and an evaluation form were developed for the video. Existing fact sheets were identified to accompany the video, including two that were SARE-funded, “Direct Marketing of Farm Products” and “Tip Sheet 2: Add Value Through Marketing.” All four of these items are included with every video distributed by the UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

    The video was advertised on sustainable agriculture and vegetable production list-serves, through press releases and in articles in the popular press.

No milestones

Performance Target Outcomes

Outcomes

Just over one year after completion of the video, 488 videos have been distributed, including 200 through the Natural Resources, Agriculture and Engineering Service in Ithaca, New York.

Evaluations returned by viewers indicate that 84% said the video increased their knowledge of farm marketing options; 76% said the video would improve the marketing advice they give to others, and 64% said the video will help them conduct educational programs on marketing.

Information Products

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.