- Animals: bovine
- Animal Production: grazing - continuous, free-range, grazing management, livestock breeding, pasture renovation, grazing - rotational, stocking rate, winter forage
- Education and Training: demonstration, farmer to farmer, focus group, mentoring, networking, workshop
- Energy: energy use
- Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, community-supported agriculture, marketing management, e-commerce, agricultural finance, market study, value added
- Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity
- Production Systems: holistic management
- Soil Management: soil microbiology, organic matter, soil quality/health
- Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, social networks, sustainability measures
The Regional Food Infrastructure Project will assist livestock farmers in the development of value-added products and direct marketing opportunities. Using the information collected during the research phase of this project, PASA will establish working groups made up of farmers and agricultural and economic development specialists to develop business plans. PASA and its cooperators will provide ongoing networking, consulting, and educational opportunities for farms who are developing products, creating direct marketing opportunities, and seeking financing. We will also evaluate the successes of both our engagement activities and meat sales at marketing outlets. Background: A farmer survey was sent to 3,000 farmers in the spring of 2006 and resulted in 75 livestock farmers interested both in the project and attending the upcoming regional meetings. The above mentioned working groups will be formed at these regional meetings. Farmers who participate in the working groups will also participate in educational and networking events highlighting successful producer-meat buyer relationships. Of the 3,000 farmers who learn about the project, 10 of those will open new markets by selling at least $20,000 of their value-added meat products at 5 marketing outlets by 2009. We anticipate an economic impact of at least $200,000 from increased farm sales to new markets. Outreach for the project will continue with the extensive network of individuals and organizations across the region through our project e-newsletter, upcoming regional and advisory committee meetings, and press releases to area media outlets.
Project objectives from proposal:
Of the 3,000 farmers who learn about the project, 10 of those will open new markets by selling at least $20,000 of their value-added meat products at 5 marketing outlets by 2009.