Ratite Marketing Education Program

1999 Annual Report for FS99-091

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 1999: $7,250.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2001
Region: Southern
State: North Carolina
Principal Investigator:

Ratite Marketing Education Program


Ratite (ostrich, emu and rhea) production in the Southeast, once dominated by a speculative demand for breeders, has now become dependent on market demand for products such as skin or hide, plumage, oil and meat. Ratite growers are now implementing scientifically proven practices of bird management and husbandry. Most producers have adopted successful breeding, brooding and rearing, nutrition, health maintenance and hatchery management and incubation practices. However, they lack the knowledge and experience required to evaluate, adopt and develop successful marketing strategies for non-traditional agricultural commodities. Increasing market demand for quality products will be essential to the continued success of the ratite industry.

Carolina Emu Ranchers, a collective group of 20 ratite farms headquartered in Cleveland County, North Carolina, will draw upon the resources of NC State University, NC Cooperative Extension and the NC Department of Agriculture to educate its members on key agricultural marketing concepts, including developing new markets, locating buyers and suppliers, conducting market research, and carrying out marketing promotions. After learning these concepts, Carolina Emu Ranchers will plan and conduct hands-on promotional activities for restauranteurs and develop promotional brochures for the medical and food service communities. Details of their marketing plan and results of their efforts will be shared with other ratite producers throughout the Southeast. A comprehensive Ratite Marketing Education Program will sustain the economic viability of the ratite industry by helping growers identify and utilize existing resources through the development of a customized ratite marketing plan.


Kim Decker

Ratite Marketing Specialist
North Carolina Dept. of Ag and Consumer Services
Greg Traywick

North Carolina State University CES