Marketplace '99

1998 Annual Report for ENC98-030

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 1998: $12,600.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2000
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $1,200.00
Region: North Central
State: North Dakota
Project Coordinator:
Thomas Hanson
North Dakota State University

Marketplace '99


Objectives of this project were:

1) To allow the vast information displayed at the agricultural event called "Marketplace" to be shared with other SARE North Central Region PDP programs.

2) To provide an opportunity for interaction with Marketplace exhibitors and workshop presenters.

3) To stimulate thought, discussion, and creativity among attendees with the expectation that this will provide impetus for profitable ventures in these states.

Marketplace is a compilation of entrepreneurial and value-added efforts in North Dakota. It combines booths and educational presentations. No other event provides the networking opportunities to rural residents interested in adding an enterprise to their farm or small town business. This event also fosters new creative ideas to be expanded or developed as rural development and financial institutions also participate. A co-op night focuses on new generation co-op development and attracts the participation of federal USDA officials. Marketplace throws off the blinders of traditional paradigms and stimulates creativity and imagination in developing new rural enterprises and strategies. The event has a huge sponsorship of state, federal, and private organizations.

Scholarships were offered to two persons from each of the North Central region states to attend Marketplace ‘99. The attendees were provided a "get-acquainted" supper prior attending the co-op night. They attended the Marketplace ‘99 the following day. An evaluation was collected from the participants. Extension agents from other North Central region states experienced the event firsthand and took information accumulated back to their states. They also suggested using this event as a model for a similar effort in their states. Participants all expressed amazement at the size and scale of Marketplace ‘99. They indicated satisfaction with the contacts and information which they had accumulated during the day. One participant planned to do a similar event in his home state. Another hoped to convince one of the boards he worked with to all come to this event in 2000. Even youth contacts and endeavors were garnered.

The event appeared to be very well received with perhaps the biggest problem being absorbing all there was to experience. No one can come to this event and leave with no ideas, creative thoughts, or new stimulating contacts. This event should be offered (through scholarship) to individuals from the North Central region states at least once every three years.