Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE03-495
The goal of this project was to determine the feasibility of establishing a farmer’s marketing organization in Piscataquis County for farmers from a three county area. The group wanted to determine the best organizational system for the group and the most suitable marketing methods for the participating farmers without harming the existing markets of the farmers.
Twenty-six farms participated in the project. The group conducted an agriculture products market analysis through a consumer survey and a farmer survey; they developed the Maine Highlands Farm Products Promotion Group, and they enhanced current farm marketing efforts through a food cupboard program and Heritage Festival Booth. In addition, monthly meetings of the group provided educational opportunities and networking between farmers that resulted in farmers taking part in programs that they were previously unaware of, resulting in improved farm income.
Participating farmers found that meeting regularly enhanced their marketing efforts and improved farm income. The meetings provided an important opportunity to learn about farm issues. It also raised the awareness of the farmers of the great need of families in the area who are utilizing food cupboards – almost 10% of the population of one county alone.