Sharing Resources to Help Connect Farmers to Direct Marketing Niches

Final Report for EW00-012

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2000: $96,578.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2002
Region: Western
State: California
Principal Investigator:
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Project Information


The overall goal of this multi-state proposal was to enhance the ability of ag and community development professionals to develop successful direct marketing channels and strategies. To achieve this goal we conducted 11 direct marketing workshops during 2002, and 2 workshops in 2003, with a total estimated attendance of 1,733 people. These one or two-day events addressed direct marketing strategies, opportunities, barriers and solutions. Participating states included California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho and Oregon. The main audiences for these workshop was Cooperative Extension and USDA personnel, community organizations and agricultural service providers together with farmers, ranchers and direct marketing organizations (the more traditional audience for such events). The joining together of these two audiences provides unique educational and action opportunities. The workshop content provided “how-to” direct marketing information at the farm operation, individual and institutional level, while also examining the community-level implications of direct marketing strategies. Workshops furnished simple tools that communities and farmer organizations can use to assess the potential for direct marketing in an area. Workshops were planned and coordinated by individuals named as Major Participants on this proposal, working with broad-based planning committees composed of Cooperative Extension educators, USDA personnel, farmers and representatives of community organizations. After all workshops are held, the project leadership team (all major participants listed on this proposal) will meet to share resources, ideas, and experiences and organize a flexible educators’ guide that can be used for organizing other workshops and conferences on direct marketing. A Direct Marketing Resource Guide that highlights existing educational materials on various aspects of direct marketing will also be developed and distributed in print and on the Web.

Project Objectives:

1. Increase knowledge and use of direct marketing opportunities, barriers and solutions among Cooperative Extension educators, USDA field personnel, food/agricultural support professionals, lenders and community leaders.
2. Develop the capacity of farmers, ranchers and community organizations to identify, evaluate and implement direct marketing strategies.
3. Create a flexible curriculum and training framework for six workshops in six states, emphasizing joint participation of Extension, USDA, farmers/ranchers and community organizations in planning, execution and evaluation.

4. Create a Direct Marketing Resource Guide for each participating state that includes an annotated bibliography of existing direct marketing resources (e.g. fact sheets, bulletins, case studies, web sites, books).


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Education & Outreach Initiatives

Outcomes and impacts:
Individual State Summaries (includes both Accomplishments/Milestones and Impact/Outcomes)


This grant supported 13 workshops or conferences in five western states during 2002 and 2003. As summarized in Table 1, these events reached a total of 1,733 individuals with information and ideas about direct marketing of farm products. Approximately 726 farmers/ranchers attended the events. In terms of the target audience for professional development grants, we estimate that about 342 ag professionals participated (includes Cooperative Extension campus- and county-based, NRCS, consultants, and non-profit organizations). Summaries of the educational activities in each participating state are included after Table 1 (AVAILABLE IN PRINT COPY VERSION ON FILE).

Information about the planning process for each state’s activities during the first year of the project was included in the 2001 Progress Report and is not repeated here.


Workshops/Conferences Held
In California, this grant was the primary impetus and support for a professional development conference held in Davis on March 1, 2002. We also linked up with a major conference already being planned for 2002 (California Farm Conference, held in Ventura November 17-19) to integrate direct marketing topics into their program. We coordinated a pre-conference shortcourse as part of this event.

Agricultural Direct Marketing Strategies for Successful Businesses and Communities. March 1, 2002. Buehler Alumni Center, University of California, Davis, California.
Sponsors: Sponsored by UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, UC Small Farm Program, Community Food Security Coalition, California Federation of Certified Farmers' Markets and Davis Farmers' Market Association, with funding from the Western Region USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program, and USDA Risk Management Agency.
Primary Audience: ag professionals
Total attendance: 101 (67 participants, 34 presenters)

New Ideas for Direct Marketing: Selling to Restaurants and Retailers / Creating a Local Identity. Short Course at California Farm Conference. November 17, 2002. Holiday Inn, Ventura, California.
Sponsors: Short Course organized by UC SAREP. The larger Farm Conference of which this was a part is sponsored by University of California Small Farm Center, California Federation of Certified Farmers' Markets, USDA Risk Management Agency, Community Alliance with Family Farmers, Golden Gate Farmers' Market Association, USDA Farm Service Agency, Chancellor's Office of the California Community Colleges, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Primary Audience: farmers/ranchers
Total attendance: 49 (44 participants, 5 presenters)

Impact / Outcomes

Program agendas and responses to the workshop evaluation form are included in Appendix A

Agricultural Direct Marketing Strategies for Successful Businesses and Communities. March 1, 2002. Responses were very favorable with 30 of 35 respondents indicating within the next 6-12 months (3 more in the next 18 months) that they would get involved in direct marketing activities, change their marketing strategies or recommend direct marketing strategies as a result of the conference. Interactions with other participants were noted as particularly valuable and we expect that informal connections will result from these. The topics that were noted as most useful included “Selling to Restaurants” and “Creating a Local Identity” which we expanded and developed into short courses at the Farm Conference in November 2002.

Selected comments from participants about the impact of the conference [How do you plan to use the information you have gained?]:
· “I intend to market my product to restaurants and retail stores. The information gained was invaluable.”
· “By sharing info with my local growers’ association and farmers market vendors. By incorporating the tools and resources presented into the future plans and opportunities of my nutrition education food security project.”
· “By assisting in economic development of Humboldt County through specialty agriculture.”
· “In the implementation of a local branding program.”
· “I plan to pass along information to the growers I work with and take some of the suggestions regarding community business relations, i.e. going to a chamber of commerce meeting.”
· “Alter my strategy for a farm-to-institution project.”

Farm Conference Short Courses. November 17, 2002.
Respondents were very pleased with the short course with 100% of respondents saying they planned to use the information within the next 18 months (most said within the next 12 months). Selected comments include:
· “I will be contacting local business owners (i.e. retail salespeople) to buy from us. I also intend to check with Ag. Commissioners to see if there would be possibly other farmers to join in the effort of creating a Regional Marketing Program…”
· “As a small farmer, I will use the resume and the history of the farm as an advertising tool.”
· “I plan to continue developing a business plan for production on my ranch. I will also use info in my teaching at high school level.”
· “Explore regional branding for citrus.”
· “Stay in farmers market after my Dad retires.”

Overall, the impact of the conference and short course was to give ideas and confidence to farmers and ranchers (the majority of attendees) about how to move forward in direct marketing venues. In addition, these forums created short and long-term networks that will continue to be useful long after the funding for this project ends.

Post-conference / Long-term Impacts

Agricultural Direct Marketing Strategies for Successful Businesses and Communities. March 1, 2002. A post-conference email sent one year after the event, yielded the following comments from one participant:

§ Contacted one of the speakers to learn more about local, regional market development. I am now working on developing a countywide plan with the Humboldt County Small Business Development Center and Prosperity! program.
§ I wrote a grant to Nutrition Network for a countywide initiation of a farm to school program. Information from the conference was helpful in writing the grant.
§ We are celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the Arcata Educational Farm on August 30th, and of course hearing about agriculture celebrations in the Davis area adds to the bank of fun ideas to celebrate local agriculture.


Workshops/Conferences Held
Farm Direct Marketing 101: Strengthening Agriculture & Communities. February 23, 2002. La Sells Stewart Center, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.
Sponsors: Western Region USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program
Primary Audience: farmers/ranchers, ag professionals, market managers
Total attendance: 274 (245 participants, 29 presenters)

Farm Direct Marketing in Oregon: Enhancintg Small Farms & Building Communities. March 1, 2003. Valley River Inn, Eugene, Oregon.
Sponsors: Western Region USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program, Oregon State University Extension Service, Oregon Farmers’ Market Association, Lane County Food Coalition, Oregon Department of Agriculture, USDA-IFAFS, Valley River Inn
Primary Audience: Farmers/ranchers, market managers, buyers, ag professionals
Total attendance: 299 (270 participants, 29 presenters)

Impact / Outcomes

Program agenda and responses to the workshop evaluation form are included in Appendix B

Farm Direct Marketing 101: Strengthening Agriculture & Communities. February 23, 2002. Numerous partnerships were critical to the success of this February 2002 conference. The partnership with the Oregon Farmers Market Association was very important in generating attendance to the conference. The conference design included a well-attended Friday night pre-conference workshop that focused on providing people with little familiarity with the subject matter with the basics of farm direct marketing concepts, tools, and marketing channels. The Saturday conference included sessions that targeted not only producers but also local government officials and community food system activists. Attendees gave their highest rankings to two facilitated panels. One panel focused on selling to restaurants and retail and consisted of both buyers and producers. The second panel focused on the business aspects of farm direct marketing and consisted of expert producers. Expert lectures, whether provided during keynote presentations or individual sessions, received somewhat lower rankings. A local caterer highlighted local products in the meals.

Farm Direct Marketing in Oregon: Enhancintg Small Farms & Building Communities. March 1, 2003. The 2003 Oregon Direct Marketing Conference expanded upon the successful conference from the previous year. Once again the partnership with the Oregon Farmers Market Association was important. This year additional partners including the Lane County Food Coalition and Center for Rural Affairs played key roles in designing the agenda and helping with outreach to new groups. The 2003 Conference continued successful programs from the previous year (pre-conference workshop for beginners, facilitated panel on selling to restaurants) and added in new elements (additional community food system sessions, farm bill session, post conference reception featuring local foods). The highest rated session focused on direct marketing selling tips and featured a hands-on demonstration. The keynote presentation by John Ikerd was well appreciated and set the tone for the day. Overall attendance was up from 2002 (to total attendance of 293) and all evaluation averages were up from the previous year. The post conference reception featured donated local foods and beverages and donated labor by the hotel chefs. It provided an excellent means for highlighting the strength of the local food system and extending the conference networking.

Post-conference / Long-term Impacts

A longitudinal study was conducted of participants in the pre-conference workshop The Fundamentals of Farm Direct Marketing, held immediately prior to the February 2002 Oregon Farm Direct Marketing Conference. This session introduced the fundamental concepts of a variety of farm direct marketing strategies to enhance the experience of the participants during the conference the following day. The workshop was attended by novice farmers, as well as experienced farmers new to farm direct marketing and those interested in expanding their direct marketing channels. Approximately 80 people attended this session representing 50 households. The mail survey of participants was conducted 9 months after the program to assess the educational and economic (business development and expansion) impacts of the conference. Of the 50 surveys mailed, 32 were returned (64% response rate). A subset of 24 responses, limited to participants who were currently farming or interested in farming, was selected for analysis. Additional responses are anticipated. Here is a brief summary:

§ Confidence in the information presented at the conference—82% of respondents indicated that based on the information and resources provided at the conference, they were motivated to start or expand a farm direct marketing business.
§ New businesses started—23% of respondents began new farm direct marketing businesses following the conference.
§ Businesses planning for expansion—81% of respondents indicated they are planning to begin or further expand a farm direct marketing business.
§ Improvements in established strategies—89% of respondents who were already utilizing a farm direct marketing strategy indicated they made improvements in those strategies based on the information they received at the conference.
§ Participants rated the conference at a 4.25 on a 5.0 scale (1=not very useful; 5=very useful).


Workshop/Conferences Held

Farmer to Consumer: Enhancing the Connection. February 27-28, 2002. Templin’s Resort, Post Falls, Idaho
Sponsors: University of Idaho Cooperative Extension, Idaho Dept. of Ag, NAFDMA, Rural Roots, Northeast WA/Northern ID Extension Small Farm Team, USDA Risk Management Agency, Western Region USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program
Primary Audience: Ag Professionals and Producers
Total attendance: 56 (38 participants, 18 speakers & organizers)

2002 Southern Idaho Farm Conference: Successful Direct Marketing and Farmers' Forum. March 1, 2002. Twin Falls, Idaho.
Sponsors: University of Idaho Cooperative Extension and USDA Risk Management Agency, Western Region USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program
Primary Audience: farmers and ag professionals
Total attendance: 56 (50 participants, 6 presenters)

Impact / Outcomes

Program agendas and responses to the workshop evaluation form are included in Appendix C

Both conferences had a positive impact on participants. Out-of-state speakers from NAFDMA were very well received; they received highest marks at both conferences and many positive comments were provided. Experience was a key factor and excellent presentations with lots of pictures were a hit.

Results of conference evaluation surveys:

q 96% of attendees plan to get involved in direct marketing activities, make changes to marketing strategy, or recommend direct marketing activities in the next 6-18 months as a result of what they learned at the conference in Post Falls, Idaho.

q 92% of attendees indicated their knowledge of direct marketing strategies and opportunities was increased or enhanced by attending the Post Falls conference.

Ideas that participants indicated they would put into practice:
§ I want to explore the CSA concept in the next 5 years.
§ Value-added products/diversity
§ To have a better image in Marketing
§ More signage, work on sign content, develop recipes
§ Display ideas
§ In future, possibly agri-tourism, doing educational & fun interesting things on the farm.
§ Develop a market plan for further processed foods.
§ Create promotional strategies for farmers’ markets and develop a tag line for business.
§ Use pricing ideas brought up in conference.
§ Emphasize fact that they grow many varieties of produce.
§ Put better signs on farm and create more agri-tourism.
§ Plan on starting a CSA.

Market Managers and People Providing Services to Farmers
§ Compile list of services provided by my market farmers (ie. SCA, pumpkin or other u-pick, animals for meat) to distribute to customers.
§ Set up & expand a farmers market in our area
§ Use resource materials for outreach and in program presentation to growers.
§ Share information with market vendors, urban farmers, and local community members. Create specialty products workshops for market vendors.

Post-conference / Long-term Impacts

The following information was gathered by brief follow-up email survey one year after conference. It was sent to individuals who indicated we could contact them later.

Poultry/egg producer. “I have used the contact information for ISDA, WSDA almost everyday. Finding out who did what, and developing relationships with them was very, very helpful to me in figuring out the legal way to start a family poultry meat Co-op. I have also used the information weekly in talking with other producers as helpful hints and suggestions for their own direct marketing endeavors, in particular, about the farm recreation ideas. Helping other farmers and ranchers expand their fields of possibilities.”

Herb farmer. “The conference was great from a networking standpoint. I did pick up some signage ideas that I applied at the Market, positively. In addition, the packaging ideas presented during the value-added portion were helpful.”

Extension educator. “I took notes of websites and other resources and gave those to the Green Bluff fruit growers in Spokane at one of their grower meetings. I also prepared a PowerPoint presentation on Direct Marketing for Tree Fruit Extension agents in the PNW at their annual meeting in June of 2002.”

Agency educator. “I have made use of information on agri-tourism, farmers markets, and The Food Alliance. I have used this information in outreach to producers and in negotiating with other state agencies. I found the conference to be very useful in opportunity to network with other state agents about regulations on processing meats and for value-added products. I have followed up on these contacts and will continue to make use of the relationships I made at the Post Falls Conference.”


Workshops/Conferences Held
The Colorado team’s strategy was to integrate direct marketing curriculum into already-existing or planned educational programs, rather than organize separate workshops. The grant helped sponsor direct marketing components at the following two events.

Agri-Profiting Through Direct Marketing. January 9 - 10, 2002. Montrose Pavilion, Montrose, Colorado.
Sponsors: Delta County Cooperative Extension, Colorado State University, Western Region USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program
Primary Audience: farmers/ranchers, ag professionals
Total attendance: 76 (57 participants, 19 presenters)

The Human Side of Farming: Sustaining Farms and Family. January 31 - February 2, 2002. Sunrise Ranch Retreat and Conference Center, Loveland, Colorado.
Sponsors: Colorado Department of Agriculture, Marketing Division, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, Colorado Organic Producers Association (COPA), Grant Family Farms, Sun Country Packaging, Western Region USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program
Primary Audience: farmers/ranchers, ag professionals
Total attendance: 95 (64 participants, 31 presenters)

SW Marketing Network Conference. March 31-April 1, 2003. Durango, Colorado.
Sponsors: Western Region USDA SARE program, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, USDA Risk
Management Agency, Rocky Mountain Farmers’ Union, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, New Mexico Cooperative Extension, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension,
Farm to Table, National Center for Alternative Technology, Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas, Henry A.Wallace Center for Agricultural & Environmental Policy, Navajo Nation Department of Agriculture
Primary Audience: farmers/ranchers
Total Attendance: 175 (145 participants, 30 presenters)

Impact / Outcomes

Program agendas and responses to the workshop evaluation form are included in Appendix D

Agri-Profiting Through Direct Marketing. January 9 - 10, 2002. The first annual Direct Marketing workshop was held at the Montrose Pavilion in Montrose, CO. The two-day event saw 76 participants share ideas on value-added direct marketing opportunities in all-natural meat production, vegetable and fruit production, nursery crops, and agri-tourism. As a result of this workshop, many producers implemented new production enterprises and marketing techniques. At least six Western Slope producers applied for specialty crops grants for their farms in order to test new and alternative crop production methods. These grants are offered through the Specialty Crops Program at Colorado State University and supported by monies from the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

Here are some selected comments from participants about the workshop:

§ “I increased my knowledge in some basics of direct marketing and meat cooperatives, specifically natural and organic meat production”
§ “I am encouraged by producers who were presenters having success”
§ “Let’s have another one of these, roll up our sleeves and talk real stuff”
§ “I need help developing a marketing/business plan for the small-scale, high profit potential operation I run”
§ “Excellent workshop! In spite of the distance of the distance, your workshop had more specific information than any others offered. More innovation. More creativity.”

The Human Side of Farming- Sustaining Farms & Family- Conference and Trade Show. January 31-February 2, 2002. The conference attracted 95 participants from Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming. John Fielder, noted nature photographer, publisher, teacher and preservationist, was the keynote speaker on opening night. Much of the remaining 2 ½ day conference was devoted to marketing with major sessions entitled “Trends in Alternative Marketing” and “Marketing Outside the Box”. Another session addressed the “Human Side of Farming” which focused on the opportunities for youth in agriculture.

Here are some selected comments extracted from the evaluation forms used:

What I Liked Best:
§ personal accounts of growers
§ possible alternative markets
§ hearing from the growers and professionals alike
§ openness of some producers talking about tactics, $$ and failures
§ more in-depth than some other programs
§ innovative ideas for alternative approaches to agriculture and humorous approach
§ stress values and not money
§ new generations, bringing the family back to the land

Other Comments:
§ needed a bit more down time to integrate the learnings
§ overall conference was excellent
§ great variety of subjects and the panel of alternative marketers was great.

SW Marketing Network Conference. March 31-April 1, 2003. This conference was the first step in a series of marketing trainings being offered to small-scale, alternative and minority producers in the states of AZ, CO, NM and UT. There were 145 attendees at the conference in Durango, CO, from these four states plus OK, PA, VA and AR. Participants could choose one of five tracks (Group Marketing, Growing Markets, Policy, Promoting Our Local Products, and Institutional Purchasing) during the 2-day interactive workshop. Here are some selected comments from the evaluation:

“What did you like best about this conference?"

§ meeting and interacting with people; networking; meeting regional producers
§ individual networking during meals and breaks
§ interacting with other people with similar interests and hearing different viewpoints
§ connections with people
§ networking opportunities
§ the idea of reintroduction of traditional farming techniques and using this to enhance traditional/cultural teachings for our youth
§ the accessibility of people, very open, great expertise, great flow, food; about marketing your product and getting ideas and learning to educate ourselves
§ diversity of people

"Do you have any suggestions for next year's conference?"

§ add a section for CSAs and other direct marketing organizations
§ March/April are planting seasons and challenging to get away for 3 days
§ you must simply get someone here to discuss CSAs!
§ better outreach and support of Latino/Latina and Tohono O'odham producers
§ movement between tracks so we can experience more of the expertise available
§ too much focus on non-profit, need a for-profit component
§ focus on specific product marketing opportunities, i.e. produce, beef, dairy, others
§ small grower section
§ having more growers (farmers and ranchers) present
§ include a track on grower-market linkages, such as CSAs, direct marketing
§ networking session at the end where people can go to a designated area to meet people who were in other sessions for particular reasons


Workshop/Conferences Held
The Hawaii grant was the primary support and impetus for one event (the Ag Direct Marketing Professional Development workshop on October 23 in Waikiki), and made possible the integration of direct marketing panels and breakouts into three other major events during the fall of 2002:

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers 12th Annual International Tropical Fruit Conference. October 4-6, 2002. Keauhou Beach Resort, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
Sponsors: Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, County of Hawaii-Dept. of Research and Development, Western Region USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program
Primary Audience: farmers/ranchers
Total attendance: 87 (77 participants, 10 presenters)

Doing Your Business Better! A Direct Marketing Conference for Agriculture and Small Business. October 9 - 10, 2002. Sandalwood Golf Course, Maui, Hawaii.
Sponsors: Univ. of Hawaii-College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, County of Maui-Office of Economic Development, Western Region USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (plus other minor sponsors)
Primary Audience: farmer/ranchers, ag professionals
Total attendance: 158 (129 participants, 29 presenters)

Agricultural Direct Marketing Workshop. October 23, 2002. Sheraton Waikiki Hotel, Hawaii.
Sponsors: University of Hawaii at Manoa-Department of Natural Resource Management, Western Region USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program
Primary Audience: ag professionals
Total attendance: 33 (31 participants, 2 presenters)

Agricultural Conference 2002. Changing Times: Creating Opportunities in Agriculture. October 24, 2002. Sheraton Waikiki Hotel, Hawaii.
Sponsors: Agricultural Leadership Foundation of Hawaii, Univ. of Hawaii-College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation, Western Region USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program
Primary Audience: farmers/ranchers, ag professionals
Total attendance: 263 (233 participants, 30 presenters)

Impact / Outcomes

Program agendas are included in Appendix E

Impact summary available for October 9-10 and October 23-24 events only.

Doing Your Business Better: The Direct Marketing Conference for Agricultural & Small Businesses. October 9-10, 2002. Participants at this conference were from a wide range of small businesses. For the evaluation participants were asked to "give comments regarding this conference/workshop." All responses were positive. Most repondents were impressed with the the diversity of topics, the quality of speakers, opportunities to network and the practical information provided. The combining of agriculutural and other small businesses was successful in breaking down the "agriculture is different" mentality and provided synergy in thinking about collaborative marketing. Comments from the conference evaluations included the following:

“Great to combine agriculture with other business workshops. This helps Ag by educating attendees about the Ag industry and its important role in Hawaii and struggles. This helps the farmers by gaining support of local products.”

“Even for someone not directly interested in agriculture, information was very useful. Helpful in any business.”

“Informative, interesting, beneficial for small businesss to survive. Beneficial to exising business to lenghten their survival and future planning to diversify and focus on the business aspects of the present as well.”

Agricultural Direct Marketing Workshop. October 23-24, 2002. Participants at the pre-conference workshop were all agricultural professionals and responses were favorable. All 31 respondents indicated they would recommend what they had learned at the workshop to clients within the next 12-18 months. The participants were pleased with the instructor and materials covered. Several participants recommended more Hawaii-specific examples or local farmer participants. The most common recommendation was that similar workshops be provided to farmers. The conference sessions relevant to direct marketing were the opening keynote address "Sustainable Agriculture: Reconnecting with Consumers," and breakout sessions on agtourism, farmer-chef connections, and direct marketing. They were all well attended and highly ranked by participants. When asked about recommendations the participants might make to clients as a result of the workshop, some responded:
§ many points for the ag clients, for value added products, partnering, etc.
§ using the concepts of tailoring value-added products to your target market.
§ Commodity farmers should consider developing a vertically integrated production system.
§ CES-Hilo shall conduct direct marketing workshop to farmers selling at the farmers' markets throughout the island including prospective farmers that planned to do direct marketing.

An email survey 6 months after the workshop/conference showed the participants were involved in direct marketing activities such as: planning a NAFDMA direct marketing conference to occur on Maui in 2004; drafting a new county ordinance that defines allowed activities for agritourism operations; and developing a pilot tour of organic farms by cruise passengers.


The project leadership team met in February 2003 to share resources, ideas and experiences and discuss organization and contents of the educators’ guide. This publication is in the final review phase and will be published summer 2003. It will be available in PDF format on the SAREP Web site. I also plan to email it to PDP state coordinators in the Western Region.


The Direct Marketing Resource Guide provides a listing of key educational materials and resources on direct marketing. The Guide is targeted to Cooperative Extension personnel, state NRCS and USDA personnel, community groups, and farmers and ranchers. Secondary audiences include researchers and the general public. The purpose of the Guide is to increase awareness and understanding of direct marketing opportunities and assist these audiences to develop direct marketing plans and implement them.

Criteria used for selecting items to be included in the guide include:
¨ regional or state applicability
¨ quality of writing and graphics
¨ usefulness in educational setting
¨ very current, or if old, considered a 'classic'
¨ content is practical and immediately adaptable to farm/business
¨ ease (and cost) of obtaining the item (i.e. if you can't obtain the pub anymore, we don't list it)

Entries in the guide are being organized in an Access database. The database will give us the flexibility to expand from a regional to a more national list, and allow us to deliver the information in print form when desired (e.g., a printed version of the Guide will be distributed at each of the state workshops). The primary channel for making this guide available to the public will be the World Wide Web. This will be cost effective, provide search capabilities, and make the final product more easy to update. Additional funding from the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), is helping to pay for further revisions and addition of new entries, as well as the programming and html coding to publish the information via the Web. The Guide will be finally posted on the SAN Web site by August 2003.

A preliminary print version of the Guide was included as a handout at many of the workshops listed above. A copy is enclosed with this report.

Project Outcomes

Project outcomes:

Accomplishments and Impacts/Outcomes are included together in the Outcomes and Impacts section of the report.

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.