Creating resources to increase collaborative marketing impacts for direct marketers

Project Overview

Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2014: $13,810.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2016
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:
Laura Biasillo
Development Specialist

Annual Reports

Information Products


  • Vegetables: beans, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cucurbits, eggplant, garlic, greens (leafy), onions, peppers, tomatoes, brussel sprouts
  • Animals: bees, bovine, swine, sheep
  • Animal Products: dairy


  • Education and Training: extension, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Farm Business Management: cooperatives, agricultural finance, risk management
  • Sustainable Communities: local and regional food systems, new business opportunities, partnerships

    Proposal abstract:

    Collaborative marketing is the next wave of marketing for direct marketers. As new markets open and demand increases, the only hope to fulfill requests is through a collaborative strategy. An example is the “China Export Project” currently operating through Cornell Cooperative Extension which is looking to sell New York State farm products to high-end consumers in China. However, no literature or data exists to support decision making in what business structure might work best, how to evaluate collaborative marketing relationships, or an economic forecasting tool to quantitatively evaluate the relationship. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County proposes a project working intensively with direct marketers interested in, or currently pursuing collaborative marketing, to create and test resources to help farmers evaluate on an individual basis proposed or existing collaborative marketing relationship through qualitative and quantitative bases, and create an online and print resource center dedicated to collaborative marketing. Case studies will be created to illustrate concepts using collaborating farmers and their experiences. Outreach will be achieved through a variety of mechanisms, including articles to agricultural publications, presentations at conferences, online through the resource center and a summit conference during the last phase of the project. This will be the most integral to the sustainability of the project as it will bring together Extension Educators, farmers, researchers and other agri-service providers to discuss the resources and tools created during the project and how they can be applied across the state and the northeast to all types and scales of direct marketing operations.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County will utilize the following methods during the proposed project depending on the audience and needs. In-person, intensive, advisory sessions will be used when meeting with producers, or groups of producers, who are either looking to start marketing collaboratively, or are currently marketing collaboratively. This will ensure engagement from all parties involved; through face-to-face conversations little will be left up to the interpretation that is easily disguised through email or phone, which is often how these relationships are started. Additionally, by utilizing the created checklists for evaluating relationships and putting data on the economic forecasting tool, putting “pen to paper” helps make things “real” and more understandable.

    A survey will be created for use at the beginning of the process for the exclusive purpose of literature review, perceived challenges/barriers, best practices, etc… This will be disseminated through both print and online through a variety of service provider partners as well as through the Cornell Cooperative Extension system. These results will help inform the structure of the project as well as the online resource center to be created through the project.

    Little data and literature exists dedicated to this topic so this affords an opportunity to facilitate conversations, create literature, case studies, data points/set, and more to inform future research and the dissemination of the information not only through our county, but the region, statewide and nationwide.

    Phase One:
    April 2014-June 2014:
    -Project leader will conduct a literature Review for case studies, sample agreements, evaluating relationships, etc…
    - Project leader will create data points for economic forecast tool
    - Project leader will create drafts for the following: sample agreements, how to evaluate relationships
    - Project leader will create and disseminate survey statewide to find out what resources producers would find most useful when it comes to collaborative marketing, etc..

    July 2014-October 2014:
    - Project leader will meet with interested producers/producer groups in pursuing collaborative marketing, or those currently collaboratively marketing (4-6 total)
    - Collaborating farmers will try sample agreements and report back on efficacy in evaluating relationships and use
    economic forecast tool

    November 2014-December 2014:
    - Project leader will write 1-2 case studies based off of interactions from first group
    - Project leader will distill results of producer survey to start skeleton of online resource center for collaborative
    - Project leader will evaluate usefulness of sample agreements, checklist of evaluating collaborative marketing
    relationships and forecasting tool and make changes as appropriate

    Phase Two
    January 2015-March 2015:
    - Project leader will meet with second set of interested producers/producer groups in pursuing collaborative
    marketing (2-4 total)
    - Project leader will hold series of workshops on topics of interest to project, including legal, how to manage
    relationships, creative solutions to transportation, addressing quality control in a joint partnership, etc… and
    evaluate for usefulness, behavior and knowledge change, etc… with collaborating farmers presenting as
    appropriate with approximately 30 in attendance
    - Project leader will write one or two articles on progress of project
    - Project leader will start gathering resources for online resource center and building web presence

    April 2015-June 2015
    - Project leader will follow up with all those interested producers/producer groups and purchasers to gather data points for economic forecast tool

    July 2015-October 2015
    - Project leader will write 1-2 more case studies based on interactions among partners in the project
    - Project leader will finalize economic forecasting tool, collaborative marketing relationship checklist, and sample agreements for different types of collaborative marketing relationships
    - Project leader will launch online resource center
    - Project leader and collaborating farms will hold a statewide "Collaborative Marketing Conference" to showcase lessons learned, introduce materials and tools created, and engage the larger community in strategic conversations to move collaborative marketing forward

    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.