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, farmers are being help to address their marketing questions, farmers market started a result of 2005 training.
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.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
Extension agents traditionally have not had been trained in direct marketing but are being as to provide marketing assistance to their clientele. This training has provided them with information and resources they need to assist with direct marketing questions. The follow up surveys found: ninety-two percent of the participants reported assisting farmers with direct marketing related questions, sixty-five reported using the marketing materials and resources provided, and fifty percent of the participants had developed new direct marketing class and workshops. The direct marketing trainees reported 27 classes and workshop with 1,239 farmers attending the workshops.
One of the goals of the grant was to develop practical direct marketing training and resources that extension agents could incorporate into their own county programs. Based on the follow up surveys our goal has been meet. We found that if we could provide step by step marketing resources, extension agents would go beyond generalities to assist farmers with real answers for their direct marketing questions.
A direct marketing manual and fact-sheet has been developed as a result of the project. The marketing materials has been made available to all 100 counties in NC, and given to new agents as they enter the system. The training manual has been given to other states in the Southern Region.
Specialists from several states have used the workshop and marketing resources to conduct similar training.