- Animals: bovine
- Education and Training: technical assistance
- Farm Business Management: marketing management, value added
- Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, partnerships, sustainability measures
In summary, the New River Marketing Initiative was a great success. While we look forward to the time when the website has been functional for a few months and we can specifically judge the monetary success of this site, we feel confident that this project will be a future success and will aid in the sustainability of those small businesses and small farms in the region. In the very least, the pilot producers have learned where to find the help that they need either with business or marketing; how to market their products better; and where they can sell their products at a price that will sustain their business.
All tasks to be performed by NRCP have been completed except the publishing of 4 quarterly newsletters – this will be continued into next year when we can more actively market the website and products; and, tracking of producer profits through the website. Once the website is operational and transactional this tracking will be priority. Those tasks completed include:
• Conducted a community demonstration and education project of an agricultural enterprise which can supplement or replace tobacco income. This demonstration included the development of a regional brand identity and marketing initiative.
• Selected a group of 13 producers to participate in the first year pilot phase of the project. Included in this group were farmers receiving Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund Producer grants in 2003 and farmers replacing lost tobacco income.
• Conducted 3 site visits to other regional marketing initiatives.
• Conducted an inventory of area producers.
• Developed a website, advertisements, brochures, and flyers and will unveil the educational and transactional website by January 2004.
• Developed individual logo, card, brochure, and business plans for producers.
• Published a newsletter for area outreach and participated in numerous informational presentations.
Attached you will find samples of the website, labels, sample producer marketing products, and photos. The CD that is included shows the photos of products to be available online and descriptions. Each of these items must be encoded by the database manager before it can be shown on the website…you can imagine the time this takes.
We appreciate the funding made available to us from SARE. We look forward to continuing work with SARE through technical assistance and hope to work with you again in the near future.
The over-arching goal of this project was to aid in keeping agricultural land in active agricultural production and to enhance the development of small businesses rather than large industrial development. The agricultural producers who are featured on our transactional website are all expanding and improving their businesses by becoming familiar with business plans, marketing plans, and partnerships with various resources. By giving these owners the tools to make their business a success, we are aiding in the creating of sustainable businesses and farms which will preserve the unique natural, historic, and cultural resources of the New River basin.
The objective and performance targets for this 2004 grant included:
• Develop New River basin brand identity
• Develop logo for new brand
• Conduct a comprehensive inventory of area producers
• Select 8-12 producers for first year pilot phase
• Develop web page, advertisements, brochures, flyers
• Unveil transactional and educational website
• Publish 4 quarterly newsletters for area outreach
• Participate in 8 informational presentations in the region
• Develop business model for sustaining and growing of regional cooperative marketing
• Develop individual logo, card, brochure, business plans
• Targeted advertising
• Conduct site visits to identified national projects