Direct Market Training for Agricultural Professionals

2007 Annual Report for ES05-079

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

Direct Market Training for Agricultural Professionals


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 have conducted several direct marketing workshops. A direct marketing manual has been edited to include a case study. The case study will serve a guide of how to use the material in each chapter. The direct marketing manual has been distributed to all counties in North Carolina and posted on the NC State University website. Nine direct marketing fact-sheets are being developed. The fact-sheets will be posted to the North Carolina Value Added website and distributed to all the workshop participants. The materials developed for the direct marketing project continues to be used by participants. Follow up marketing workshops continue to be conducted as a result of 2005 training.

Objectives/Performance Targets

1.Develop a direct marketing manual with resources to prepare agricultural professionals to assist farmers and entrepreneurs interested in direct marketing.

2. Conduct a two day in-depth direct marketing training for agricultural professionals

3.Thirty Five Extension agents will conduct direct marketing education programs in their counties

4.Fifty farmers will utilize the direct marketing tools.


The direct marketing advisory committee reviewed the direct marketing materials developed for the workshop. The advisory committee recommended new fact-sheets and editing the manual.The manual and business tools/fact-sheets were written to be a supplement to the workshops. The advisory committee thought the tools and manual could be more useful to a larger audience if rewritten. The business tools/fact-sheets were rewritten to include an explanation of how to use the fact-sheet and worksheets to aid in the direct market topic covered as well a case study to support the materials in the fact-sheet. The nine fact-sheet are: Introduction of how to use the fact-sheets, How to Evaluate Your Business Idea, Identifying Your Customers, How Do You Plan for the Market, Evaluating the Competition, Estimating Your Cost and Income, Calculating Your Prices, Market Regulations, Licenses, Permits and Taxes and Insurance and Helpful Resources for Direct Marketing. The direct marketing fact-sheets will be posted to NC state University Value Added Web site as well as distributed to all county office in the three states.

The direct marketing manual “Direct Answers for Direct Marketing” has been rewritten for the larger audience based on the recommendation of the advisory committee. One consistent case study was written to be included in each chapter. Some of the worksheets have been edited to be more consistent with the case study. The direct marketing manual will be distributed through the Universities extension system.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

A follow up written and phone survey was conducted in at the end of 2007. A random sample of 30 percent of the workshop participants were contacted by written and phone surveys to measure the impacts and outcome of the 2006 training and materials. One of our goals was to have extension agents gained skills in market research, and other marketing topics. Ninety-six percent of the workshop participants said they gained marketing skills as a result of the workshop and supporting materials.

Another goal was for the extension agents not just to learn new marketing skills but to be able use them in their extension programs. Sixty-five percent of the extension agents surveyed reported using the marketing materials and resources provided. Fifty percent of the participants had developed new direct marketing class and workshops as a result of the project. The direct marketing trainees reported 27 classes and workshop with 1,239 farmers attending the workshops. Ninety-two percent of the participants reported assisting farmers with direct marketing related questions.


Theresa Nartea

William Brinkley

Edoe Agbodjan

Ross Williams

Bob Usury

Eric Plaksin

John OSullivan

Brent Hunter

Denise Mainville

Kenner Love

Jack Loudermilk

David Kendall

James Jenkins

Charlie Jackson

Rachel Bynum

Charles Holeman

Dr. Geoffrey

Ed Estes

Keith Dickinson

Carl Cantaaluppi

Tom Campbell