Over 50% of farmers have lost money every year since 2013. Small farmers (operations under $350k per year) have been hit harder than most; accounting for just 1/4 of food produced in 2017, down from almost 1/2 in 1991.
Motivations for entering, or remaining in, farming diminish when farmers are forced to run operations without leveraging shared resources.
Demonstration and Education Project
Technology has made farming more efficient, but most of those benefits have been realized by corporate farmers who are building up large holdings as small farmers are forced to sell out, or face impending bankruptcy. More than ever, small farmers need business management and marketing assistance to remain viable and increase income.
The owners of small operations can capture the economies of size and specialization available to larger producers by sharing pooled resources and shared outside expertise.
Drive small producer business activities by connecting industry experts, performance analytics, comprehensive databases, and proven best practices. Our project services are broken down across two segments of network activity — (i) integration and planning services, and (ii) activation and engagement solutions.
Project objectives from proposal:
- Develop systems database for small producer business planning, specialty crop administration, and e-commerce marketplace supporting regional direct-to-consumer distribution and delivery.
- Engage and onboard ten (10) small (<$250,000 p/yr) and historically underserved producers across St. Louis (City), St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Franklin County, Washington County, and St. Clair County (Illinois).
- Establish operation, finance, and engagement benchmarks, measuring performance over a 23 month period.
- Analyze and share findings through virtual conferences, social media, website and community activities.