Southwest Marketing Network: Expanding Markets for Small-Scale Alternative and Minority Farmers and Ranchers
The Southwest Marketing Network is a four-state (NM, CO, AZ, UT, and Tribal Communities) collaborative of farmers, ranchers, and service providers. Through this project we are providing producers with several ways to access trainings and conferences through “distance learning” tools. This project is increasing producer knowledge, awareness, attitudes, and skills by providing connections with other producers and buyers, technical and financial assistance, marketing and business skills, and peer examples to help them increase their profitability. The information is shared through hands-on trainings in the field and conference workshops that are professionally videoed for producers who cannot participate directly.
1) Our goal is to positively affect at least 500 producers (see information below) with specific tools over the two-year period (we received an extension until September 30, 2007) that they can and/or will use to increase their production, marketing opportunities, and income. As a result, to date, during a two-year period more that 300 producers and 200 service providers have received information and training specific to the project goals.
2) Out of our goals we want to create four in-the-field hands-on trainings that are also distance trainings. In the first year we provided two and in the second year we provided four in-the-field trainings (six overall) on season extension and drip irrigation techniques. Each training had an average of twenty to twenty-five participants totaling more than 140 for the six workshops. We originally ordered 250 DVD’s and 100 VHS’s of the Cold Frame Building workshop. We ordered an additional 100 Cold Frame DVD’s in English and 100 were developed in the Navajo language. Due to the workshops and newsletter information we have disseminated 86 in Navajo and an additional 117 in English. To date over the two-year period we have provided farmers and gardeners with 503 “season extension” distance learning tools. Our goal was to provide at least 500 producers and service providers with this tool over two years. We will continue to provide the tools on the website, in our newslatters, and at the 2007 conference.
3) We have created our second set of eight-hour distance learning tools with marketing, production, and business management tools that will be disseminated to approximately 200 participants at the SWMN 2007 conference. Additional tapes will be made available through the newsletter and website. Specific learning sessions were videotaped as well as keynote presentations and PowerPoint presentations at the 2006 SWMN Conference that are the base for these tools.
Our goal over the two-year project is to provide producers with information and educational tools in a variety of ways through hands-on peer training, conference workshops, scholarships to attend workshops that normally they wouldn’t be able to, and distance learning tools through videos and Internet videoing.
Goal over two years:
Goal: At least 500 underserved producers will actively participate in a training, presentation or conference events that will add to or improve on their marketing and business management skills, and will increase their access to information.
Goal: An additional 400 producers will access the “distance learning” tools during the two-year period.
Accomplishments: In the first two years of the project 514 producers, service providers, and rural community members actively participated in trainings, presentations, and conference events and received distance learning tools. More than 300 of these were producers. These archived learning tools will continue to be available to producers long beyond the grant time.
Goal: Through our SWMN quarterly newsletter and website at least 3,000 underserved producers and organizations, educators, and extension agents who serve them will be notified of the hands-on workshops, distance learning trainings and conferences.
Accomplishments: Close to 3,200 underserved producers and organizations, educators, and extension agents who serve them have received six newsletters that have focused on marketing, farm and ranch success stories, drought management, business planning, farm to cafeteria, CSA’s, livestock production and marketing, and more, and the website has received over 65,000 visits for specific information.
As a result of the conference workshops, hands-on “season extension” workshop, and distance learning tools provided the following has been accomplished and individuals served:
– Six “season extension” coldframe building hands-on workshops were hosted with an average of 23 participants at each, totaling 140. Including the 2005 conference session on cold frame building a total of 199 farmers and gardeners have received instruction on cold frame building. In addition, more than 100 farmers and gardeners participated in the Alcalde Field Day in August. There were three brief cold frame building demonstrations along with drip irrigation options. As a result 16 people requested the Cold Frame DVD. These were mailed with instructions (though we do not encourage people to construct them without the full training).
– The Cold Frame Building DVD that was filmed in the first year in partnership with the Alcalde Agriculture Science Center and the NM State University video crew is a step-by-step video of how to build a 20×30 foot cold frame. The video has been extremely popular. The video has been made available in both VHS and DVD. In year one we disseminated to more than 270 producers and service providers in the four-state region. In year two there was a demand by Native Americans for the DVD. One hundred DVD’s were made in the Navajo language and an additional 100 English were ordered. By the end of year two we have disseminated 342 in English and 57 in Navajo.
– In the first year we also disseminated 250 DVD’s of eight hours of farm marketing and business management tools that were specifically videotaped at the 2004 conference for this project.
– At the 2006 Southwest Marketing Network Conference in Grand Junction, CO we provided producers and service providers with 28 workshops and a farm tour on production and marketing of farm and ranch products (2005 conference was reported on is our 2005 report). At the 2006 conference we had:
o 165 registrants (the conference moves from state to state each year to give an opportunity for regional participation)
o 56 registrants requested copies of the cold-frame greenhouse video that were sent to them after the conference.
o 96 participants received scholarships for registration, meals, two nights shared accommodations so that they could participate.
o Of the 165 participants there were:
Women – 67
Men – 98
Farmers, ranchers, producers – 90
Other independent business – 22
Education, nonprofit, extension – 44 (some are also farmers & ranchers)
Government, other than educators – 9
Farmers and ranchers are generally 48% of the attendees.
o Of the 165 participants the ethnicity included:
White, non-Hispanic – 124
Native American – 15
African American – 3
Hispanic – 20
Asian American & Other – 3
Minorities represented 25% of the attendees.
o Though the SWMN Conference is a four-state and Tribal Community endeavor, the conference attracted producers from19 states:
18% from NM, 13% from AZ, 38% from CO, 15% from UT, and 16% form other western states.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes:
As a result of the SW Marketing Network Conference workshops in 2005 and 2006 providing 56 production and marketing workshops, six hands-on “season extension” workshops, and distance learning tools provided, the following impacts and outcomes have been observed:
– 514 producers and service providers (of which more than 300 were producers) have actively participated in hands-on trainings, presentations and conference workshops in a two-year period of this grant.
– During the hands-on trainings over the two-year period 138 participants learned at least two successful and innovative marketing approaches employed by farmers in the region. These included varieties of plants that can be grown in cold-frame/season extension greenhouses and where to sell them – local farmers’ markets, schools, stores, restaurants, and community supported agriculture projects.
– All 514 of the producers and service providers learned how to access at least two new resources within the region to help them reinforce and practice what they have learned. All participants received either or both of the videos (cold-frame building and SWMN conference videos) as well as a farm direct marketing book from the University of Arizona, specific information provided by the Alcalde Agriculture Science Center during hands-on trainings, the six SWMN newsletters (including information about drought, marketing best practices, farm to cafeteria, livestock production and marketing, and more) and website information.
– 214 service providers – non-profit organizations, Cooperative Extension and department of agriculture agents and other government and non-government service providers are now active in the SWMN (goal was 10).
– Current work includes the creation of two videos:
o Farm to Cafeteria: How to Sell to Schools to be completed by March 2007 and begin distribution at the SW Marketing Network Conference scheduled March 26-28, 2007 in Flagstaff, AZ.
o Wool and Lamb Marketing to be completed by June 2007.
Both of these films will be advertised in the quarterly newsletters, through the swmarketingnetwork.org website, and at specific workshops.
Due to technical difficulties at the NM State University Communications Department in 2005-6, we requested an extension. Our project will conclude September 30, 2007.
One thing we have found challenging has been to provide the hands-on workshops on an internet video and to get farmers to want to drive to a location where they can access the video. To overcome this challenge we have been more aggressive in getting the videos of the workshops out to the intended audience. At our 2006 Conference we provided six Cooperative Extension Service Professional Development workshops to Cooperative Extension Service providers to provide them with specific marketing tools and distance learning tools so that they can more effectively offer these services to farmers and ranchers. We will be providing a second year of Professional Development training at our March 2007 conference.
Photos and Videos:
We are sending as of December 31, 2006):
– Educational video set of the 2006 Southwest Marketing Network Conference Selected Education Workshop sessions and progress report copies.
Photos and videos sent last year:
– Photos of the December 2, 2004, Alcalde Agriculture Science Center “Cold Frame Greenhouse Building Workshop”
– Educational video of the December 2, 2004, Alcalde Agriculture Science Center “Cold Frame Greenhouse Building Workshop”
– Educational video set of the 2004 Southwest Marketing Network Conference Selected Education Workshop sessions
To be sent:
– “Farm to Cafeteria: How to Sell to Schools” video to be completed by March 2007
– Wool and Lamb Marketing video to be completed by June 2007
– Additional still photos
Professor and Executive Producer of Video Media
New Mexico State University
Box 30003, Dept 3AI
Las Cruces, NM 88003
Office Phone: 5056465658
Alcalde Agriculture Science Center
Office Phone: 5058522668
NM Cooperative Extension Service
120 So. Federal Place, 109
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Office Phone: 5059834615
Pueblo of San Felipe
Pueblo of San Felipe, NM
Southwest Marketing Network
2727 Co. Rd 134
Hesperus, CO 81326
Office Phone: 9705882292