Direct Market Training for Agricultural Professionals

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2005: $96,757.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Region: Southern
State: North Carolina
Principal Investigator:
S. Gary Bullen
N.C. State University

Annual Reports


Not commodity specific


  • Education and Training: general education and training
  • Farm Business Management: marketing management


    Land grant universities have focused most efforts on instruction for diversification using production as the method rather than marketing. While many growers recognize that added marketing training is needed, there exists a large gap between theory and practice. Yet, the lack in “how-to” direct marketing instruction opens possibilities and opportunities for training and income enhancement. County agents need to acquire practical direct marketing skills, beyond production expertise, with which to instruct farmers that are attempting to successfully adopt new enterprise developments and changes.

    A direct market project teams made up of NC State and NC A&T, Clemson, South Carolina State, and Virginia Tech and Extension specialists and field faculty, NCDA personnel, farmers and ASAP personnel organized and conducted a two day direct marketing workshop. A direct marketing manual was developed to supplement to the workshop. Eighty-six extension agents and farmers from North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina attended the two day workshop. The workshop’s evaluations were very positive. A local food dinner was planned the first night of the workshop. The local food dinner featured an area chief and producers discussing their experience with working together to incorporating local produce into restaurants. Follow up marketing workshops have been conducted as a result of training.

    Project objectives:

    1. Seventy-five extension agents and other agricultural professionals will complete a two day direct marketing training. The marketing training will equip the participants to identify potential market feasibility, show how to conduct useful market research, and identify viable marketing channel for growers, identify cost effective methods of promoting and advertising, and know how to develop different pricing strategies for growers.

    2. Seventy-five direct marketing training cooperative extension agents will incorporate the direct marketing training in their county extension program. Thirty-five cooperative extension agents will conduct direct marketing education programs in their county as a result of receiving the training. The direct marketing participant will dissimilate the marketing materials and resources to farmers exploring new crops and opportunities.

    3. Seventy-five direct marketing training participants will access and use new resources, learn how to use new resources via the web and at land grant institutions and agencies, and will have greater skills in assisting direct marketers in their county.

    4. Thirty-five farmers will increase their knowledge and incomes by using the direct marketing tool

    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.