Gaining and retaining consumers from on-farm special events

Project Overview

Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2015: $9,427.00
Projected End Date: 04/15/2018
Grant Recipient: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:
Marie Anselm
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County

Annual Reports

Information Products


Not commodity specific


  • Farm Business Management: agritourism

    Proposal abstract:

    Farms utilize a number of marketing strategies to attract and retain consumers, including hosting on-farm special events that offer visitors a unique farm experience. These events have the potential to draw large numbers of new consumers to farms but require a significant time investment from those who organize them. While conventional wisdom would hold that these events are great marketing opportunities, no research exists to prove that these events actually gain farms lasting consumers. Open Farm Day in Madison County, NY is one such special event that other counties are duplicating across the state. Anecdotal evidence is inconclusive as to whether the event benefits farmer long-term in regards to consumer retention. The project lead will conduct consumer surveys that document consumers’ purchasing habits of farm products, knowledge of farms, and event experience at Open Farm Day to determine if consumers’ behavior changed after attending the event.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    The objective of this study is to gauge the effectiveness of on-farm special events as a marketing tactic to gain and retain customers for farms. By surveying attendees of Open Farm Day, a large annual on-farm special event, this study will generate valuable data for farms and organizations that coordinate on-farm events to use them to successfully achieve their desired marketing goals.

    To achieve this objective, the project lead developed and administered two distinct surveys to visitors of Open Farm Day in 2015 and 2016 to assess how attending an on-farm special event affects, if at all, consumers’ purchasing habits.

    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.