market evaluation opportunity – NY

posted May 27, 2010

Calling All Produce Farmers: Get Help Evaluating Your Markets

As a farmer, you spend many hours picking, washing, and packing your produce in preparation for market.  When everything is finally loaded in the truck, your produce may be distributed to many places – the supermarket, the farmers’ market, restaurants, CSA members, etc.  Throughout this time and labor intensive process, do you find yourself wondering which marketing outlet is actually the most lucrative?  When the cash comes in, have you ever evaluated factors such as the price you receive, volume you sell, time commitment, etc. for each marketing channel?

A simple new tool is available for small and mid-sized farms to help you evaluate the profit from different marketing channels.  The tool was recently developed by agriculture marketing specialists at Cornell University to aid farms in channel selection and to create ‘benchmarks’ for produce farmers in New York.

If you are a small to mid-sized farm, we invite you to participate using this tool for a one week period.  You agree to fill out a simple activity log each day documenting the time you spend on harvest and market preparation.  In return, Cornell Cooperative Extension marketing specialists will analyze your data, to determine your best performing channels and optimum channel combination.  In addition, the data will be kept confidential and used to create ‘benchmarks’ to help guide other farmers in NY.

Meticulous record keeping can be the most cumbersome part of farming, and yet, can tell you the most important information about your business.  To learn more about the Marketing Channel Assessment Tool study, see http://aem.cornell.edu/outreach/extensionpdf/2009/Cornell_AEM_eb0903.pdf

To participate in this opportunity, contact Matt at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County 607-272-2292 or mnl28@cornell.edu