- Animals: bovine, goats, sheep, swine
- Crop Production: food product quality/safety
- Education and Training: extension, focus group, networking, workshop
- Farm Business Management: marketing management, value added
This Professional Development Program provided training to educators on direct marketing of meat and meat products. Needs assessment identified five key areas under which topics related to direct marketing of meat and meat products could be categorized: Regulatory and Policy, Animal Production & Management Systems, Conversion of Animal to Product, Supply Development and Marketing, and Business Models and Economics. The needs assessment acquired a list of “frequently asked questions” that are posed to educators related to the program topic, and additionally provided information on the specific training and resources needs of educators. Questions asked by farmers, and the training needs of educators were very similar. Key topics included understanding of laws and regulations, relationships between animal production practices and meat products, conversion of live animal to product (product yield and fabrication), and availability of processors to accommodate direct marketers of meat. Based on these needs, training sessions and resources were developed for educators. Trainings included face-to-face meetings, acquisition of existing resources, development of presentations which could be used by educators, development of new publications on the topic, and assembly of these resources in a central location of educators which can be updated and revised, and utilized in the future.
Objective 1: This objective will provide the framework to build customized educational training for Cooperative Extension agents and other key educators. Through formalized needs assessment, a logic model for the execution of Objectives 2 and 3 will be constructed.
Objective 2: Outcomes of Objective 1 will be used to develop and deliver a comprehensive training curriculum for Cooperative Extension agents and other key educators. The goal will be to provide educators with advanced knowledge and skills on the direct marketing of meat and meat products to extend to farmers.
Objective 3: The final objective of the project is to evaluate the effectiveness of the training model through measured changes in knowledge and behaviors of educators as well as their correlated impact on farmers.