- Fruits: citrus
- Vegetables: cucurbits
- Animals: bovine, poultry
- Animal Products: eggs, meat
- Education and Training: demonstration, display, farmer to farmer, networking
- Farm Business Management: cooperatives, marketing management, market study
- Sustainable Communities: employment opportunities
Producers will obtain the information, skills and resources to more effectively direct market their produce and farms. Specifically, this project will increase awareness among small-scale producers about the opportunities and challenges of direct marketing. They will also become more conscious of viable direct marketing opportunities and they will develop a more positive attitude toward working collectively. Finally, the project will provide growers and ranchers with solid experience in networking, problem-solving and teamwork, abilities that they will capitalize on long after the grant period to pursue collaborative direct marketing endeavors.
Project objectives from proposal:
This project will work with producers to identify, address and cultivate new markets and to market themselves as sources of agricultural products of superior flavor and freshness in the county’s suburban centers and beyond. Project activities will provide farmers with the resources to develop new marketing channels, increase promotional efforts and build relationship with the local community to attain the goals of the project. The goals for this project will be to increase farm sales and annual sales at the farmers’ markets by 20-25 percent. Other project outcomes include selling local produce to at least two school districts in the county, marketing to at least ten local restaurants, doubling the number of CSAs in the county and selling produce to at least one large institution such as the county jail, a hospital, the local community college or corporate cafeteria. With these new opportunities, the economic viability of local agriculture will improve, increasing the resiliency of the agricultural community to development pressures, thereby preserving the community’s quality of life.