IBC Technical Services to Farmer’s/Ranchers for Online Markets in South Central Idaho

Project Overview

FW08-318
Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2008: $29,997.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Region: Western
State: Idaho
Principal Investigator:
Judy Hall
Idaho's Bounty Co-op

Commodities

  • Agronomic: flax
  • Fruits: melons, apples, apricots
  • Vegetables: asparagus, beans, beets, carrots, cucurbits, eggplant, garlic, greens (leafy), lentils, onions, parsnips, peas (culinary), peppers, sweet corn, tomatoes, turnips
  • Additional Plants: herbs
  • Animals: bovine, poultry, goats, rabbits, swine, sheep, fish
  • Animal Products: dairy

Practices

  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, farmer to farmer, focus group, technical assistance
  • Farm Business Management: cooperatives, marketing management, value added
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, public participation

    Summary:

    a. SUMMARY
    This program funded by Western SARE provided technical assistance to farmers/ranchers about marketing their products online with the goal of expanding markets for sustainable, locally grown food. In addition to this training, basic marketing, packaging and labeling skills were taught on an individual basis to help small-scale producers. Other solutions were to provide peer-to-peer training and technical training.

    Introduction

    This program was designed because there was a need expressed by many area agricultural producers to expand their markets. They were involved in Farmer’s Markets and CSA’s, some in stores, but they wanted to grow and make more money. Idaho’s Bounty Cooperative (IBC) provides a year-round market opportunity via the web for area small-scale farmers and ranchers. There was agreement by area producers that they could benefit from this new form (online) of marketing but there was a need expressed for help with using it such as general “how to,” printing labels, website design, packaging, pricing, etc.

    Project objectives:

    III. Objectives/Performance targets as stated in the application
    “Information will be disseminated through:
    1. the (four) workshops in four different geographical areas within south central Idaho and then,
    2. the Trainer will visit farmers/ranchers for individual help.
    3. The three producers in this program (Ballards, Burns, and McMahans) will provide training in a peer-to-peer capacity to speak about their experience and the advantages to online and direct market sales. The producer applicants have agreed to do this.
    4. The Trainer will rely on the technical assistance of Red Earth web designer, Emma McCauley and Oklahoma Co-op staff to help solve these technical issues. Training sessions will be open to all who are interested including those farmers and ranchers who are not currently practicing sustainable methods of production but are interested in converting to sustainable methods.”

    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.