Building Sustainability through Ag Entrepreneurism
Objectives of this project include:
1) Assess ag producer needs linked to creating and sustaining an increased proficiency in entrepreneurship.
2) Identify, evaluate, document and develop instruction on innovative marketing strategies.
3) Identify topics and approaches attractive to younger persons with potential for active roles in the ag sector.
4) Develop program materials as needed to supplement existing materials and make them suitable for use by educators and producers interested in business plans, strategic marketing, target market analysis, financial and risk management and family business management
5) Increase working knowledge of available technology and its use in production, marketing and other aspects of ag production.
6) Conduct a series of professional development workshops to build educator and researcher skills in helping producers modify their operations in response to consumer wants and needs.
As consumer needs and interests change, agriculture is taking on revised characteristics and approaches. Movement into the 21st century will bring continued rapid changes in technology, communication, national economic policies, international and domestic markets, environmental regulations, input and product marketing and agricultural sector support systems. These changes will bring to transitioning units an increased vulnerability to economic, financial and social adversity that will be accompanied by increased dependence on assistance provided by researchers, educators and advisors – especially the land grant university support system for agriculture.
Researchers, educators, other land grant personnel and field personnel of other agencies need to understand the nature and driving forces of this transition, to enhance their skills and to support improved understanding and skill development agricultural producers. Use of innovative marketing strategies, a better understanding of entrepreneurship, involvement of younger generation family members, and improved ability to rapidly adapt will characterize the successful survivors in ag production.
The direct beneficiaries of this grant, educators and researchers will provide the educational foundation for entrepreneurial sustainability and producers successes in the 21st century. The challenge is to stimulate the traditional ag producer to think beyond the present and seek good answers to this question: “What can I do to meet the needs of the consumer, to sustain production, and to operate a sustainable farm business?”