Increasing the Effectiveness of Field Agent Response to Producer Requests for Alternative Marketing Assistance

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2004: $95,939.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Region: Western
State: New Mexico
Principal Investigator:

Annual Reports


Not commodity specific


  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, extension, farmer to farmer, networking
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, new enterprise development, budgets/cost and returns, community-supported agriculture, cooperatives, marketing management, market study, risk management, value added
  • Production Systems: holistic management


    This project builds on the established Southwest Marketing Network (SWMN) that supports alternative marketing in the Four Corners States. A conference, including specific agent workshops, was in held each of three years to increase agents’ alternative marketing knowledge, build capacity to respond to inquiries, and establish working relationships among agents, specialists, and producers. A guide to responding to requests for alternative marketing assistance, comprehensive Marketing Topics resources, and a Directory of Expertise were developed and posted on a “Resources for Agents” page on the SWMN website at

    Project objectives:

    The project objectives are: 1) To increase the ability of agents (and similar service providers) to provide well-informed initial responses to producers asking for advice with alternative marketing questions, and to make referrals as appropriate. 2) To help agents better understand the unique marketing needs of small-scale and minority producers, and 3) To allow agents to establish familiarity and good working relationships across state and reservation borders in order to maximize resources available to assist producers.

    The idea is not to make these agents into marketing experts, but to allow them as non-marketing specialists to help producers find the help they need. In addition to 30 or so agents from AZ, CO, NM, & UT, we will have several marketing specialists and producers to help identify needs, issues, effective techniques, and resources. We expect that all will be learners and all will be trainers in this project.

    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.