; Addressing Market Risk to Build Resilient Small-Scale Farms in Uncertain Times | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Addressing Market Risk to Build Resilient Small-Scale Farms in Uncertain Times

Winifred McGee and Elizabeth Hay


Change has always been part of the agricultural marketing landscape, but it has rarely been more visible than when, due to the uncertainties of 2020, small-scale farmers found themselves in “uncharted waters.” As observed in the updated USDA Risk Management Checklist (The Pennsylvania State University, 2020), “Sound market research depends on reliable, applicable information…to help predict sales and develop a marketing strategy.” This begs the question, “How does research done in 2019 and years prior help my farm today?” Realizing that entering new markets requires current market research, some enterprising producers were able to listen to their customers, assess reasonable reactions, and re-invent their farms, responding to the evolving “new normal” and empowering them to face additional pivots as necessary. In this session, the PA Small Business Development Centers’ Agriculture Center of Excellence will share success stories about farmers who gathered data and made educated, risk management adjustments in concert with changing demands in the direct marketing arena. Participants will learn the five essential building blocks of resilient farm business that producers in their community need for greater flexibility, and they will be provided with strategies and tools to support agricultural producers as they face – and respond to -- the risks associated with direct sales in a socially distanced marketplace.