An Intensive Marketing Workshop for Growers and Ranchers

1998 Annual Report for FS98-075

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 1998: $7,561.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2000
Region: Southern
State: Texas
Principal Investigator:
Sue Johnson
Texas Organic Growers Association

An Intensive Marketing Workshop for Growers and Ranchers


The demand for sustainably-produced agricultural products in the United States is growing every year. For example, organic production is growing at twenty percent a year. However, discussions with produce managers in Texas grocery chains suggest that they do not see enough Texas organic products.

Furthermore, chefs, national food companies, and consumers all say there are not enough local sustainably-produced fresh vegetables, poultry and meat readily available in Texas. Seasonality of Texas produce can be one reason, but even in prime seasons consumers often comment about the lack of availability of sustainably-grown products. The Texas Organic Growers’ Association (TOGA), a non-profit trade association, set out to help growers meet the demand for organic and sustainable products.

To help increase the availability of Texas-grown products in Texas, TOGA held a marketing conference consisting of a series of intensive one-day workshops on marketing for current and potential sustainable growers/ranchers. The workshops provided information on a wide range of potential markets and their requirements. The long-term goal of the workshops was to increase the number of sustainable agricultural producers and to make existing farmers more knowledgeable about markets for their sustainably grown products. The conference was attended by approximately 200 people including Susan Combs,Commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture.

The Texas Organic Growers Association noted that the conference allowed sustainable growers and those interested in growing sustainably to network with each other. Further, through this conference, TOGA was able to form partnerships with renewable energy and sustainable community folks and to plan a three day sustainable living fair.