- Animals: poultry
- Education and Training: on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
- Farm Business Management: marketing management, agricultural finance, market study
Beneficial Farm, a diverse small farm that operates a 60-family vegetable cooperative 20 miles southeast of Santa Fe, worked with fellow egg producers to try to develop a cooperative based on commonly shared values, production methods and marketing strategies.
The project team concluded that there was not enough information available to render a definitive answer about what conditions must be present to support a legal, incorporated cooperative for small-scale egg producers.
What does work is informal resource sharing, which allows for freedom and flexibility for producers and can carry a fledgling "association" for a long time on its development path. Institutionalizing such associations into a cooperatie requires a firm foundation beyond the support of grant money.
Beneficial Farm proposed and carried out the Regional Poultry Producers Improvement Project to address obstacles to local farmers and ranchers (New Mexico and Colorado) who wish to include poultry in the mix of their diverse operations.
Among the obstacles that the project sought to overcome were:
1. Consumer preferences and awareness of poultry production issues that impact the establishment of production standards for a regional label.
2. Dealing with producer issues that are involved in developing a label.
3. Developing the quality of birds on a local level that are capable of producing eggs that will meet the standards consumers seek.
1. Conduct market research with consumer to develop appropriate production standards and to test the vialiabilty of joint marketing and labeling of poultry products.
2. Develop joint marketing and labeling of poultry products.
3. Research and develop a locally adapted strain of laying hen as the foundation stock for an expanding egg, chick and pullet operation.