Retail Ready - Wholesale Ready

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2010: $67,337.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2012
Region: North Central
State: Ohio
Project Coordinator:
Julie Fox
The Ohio State University

Annual Reports


Not commodity specific


  • Education and Training: extension, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: marketing management

    Proposal abstract:

    With growing interest in various direct marketing channels, professionals need a more consistent, systematic and in-depth approach to educating and guiding producers who are interested in their own economic viability, as well as the sustainability of rural communities and the local food and agricultural system. Ohio direct marketing educators, farmers’ market managers and other professionals who work with producers will improve their knowledge of various factors involved in direct marketing channels (packaging, pricing, distribution, sustainability, etc.). As a result of this project investment, participants will be better prepared to guide and educate producers as they assess and make decisions about: •direct marketing to retail consumers (farm market, farmers’ market, Community Supported Agriculture, other direct sales). •direct marketing to wholesale buyers (restaurants, grocery stores, institutions, other retailers and food service providers). Through 9 workshops for professionals and development of resources (workshop presentations, marketing channel assessment and action guide, economic models and case studies for various channels), participants will cultivate new practices in their work with Ohio’s small/medium operators. At least 90 professionals will participate, with 90% reporting increased knowledge and 75% making changes in practices as reported through print and email evaluations. Professionals will also network and exchange ideas through an annual conference and online forum. Farmers will be involved and compensated for their work as Advisory Group members, panel presenters and collaborators in case studies. This project builds on prior SARE projects, the expressed interest of the target audience and the momentum of the Ohio Direct Marketing Team.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Outputs - Activity indicators
    •Educaitonal materials and resources developed (print & online)
    •90 professionals participate in 9 workshops and 2 conference sessions
    •Program communication, evaluation & organizational materials developed
    •Industry media coverage reported
    •Professional association presentation

    Outcomes - Ninety (90) professionals will participate in this program, reporting:

    Short-term Outcomes:
    •Awareness and knowledge improvements (post-workshop evaluation)
    90% of participants report improving knowledge of direct marketing channels & the resources available for enhancing the sustainability of rural communities and the agricultural system
    •Attitude and motivation improvements (post-conference evaluation)
    90% of participants report improved attitude and motivation to work with producers exploring various direct marketing channels
    •Competency & Confidence (email evaluation 60-90 days after workshop participation)
    80% of participants report improved competencies gained through the SARE PDP. They also report being more confident in their ability to educate producers abut direct marketing channels and sustainable marketing practices in their local food system

    Intermediate Outcomes:
    •Changes in practice and behavior (email evaluation in year 2)
    75% of the 90 participants report using program resources and new information gained to teach, assess, consult, and partner with producers

    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.