To help farmers pursue new markets and improve economic viability, Ohio educators are taking a team approach to risk management education. As one of the most urbanized states in the country, Ohio retains over half its land base in agricultural uses. This, combined with demographic shifts and growing interest in local foods, presents unique marketing opportunities and risks.
Stage I – Assess producer interest
In a 2007 producer survey, 96.15% of respondents agreed that direct marketing was an effective way to improve farm business economic viability. Ohio continues to show growth in the number of farmers selling fresh and value added products to consumers, chefs, specialty grocery stores, and institutional buyers.
Stage II – Team development
The Ohio Direct Marketing Team has 50 members representing various organizations. This statewide network provides marketing expertise to help farmers assess and manage risk.
Stage III – Resource development
Resources have focused on various direct marketing opportunities. The next phase includes a concentration on resources that assist farmers in improving marketing decisions as part of an integrated risk management plan.
Stage IV – Resource accessibility
Resource deployment includes educational presentations at farmer events and a team website. Recognizing the value of farmers’ time, the team is sourcing funding for a more comprehensive approach that includes face-to-face workshops, self-guided online education, and facilitator-guided farm visits.
Stage V – Impact evaluation
The team will continue assessing participant impacts such as expanded market access, improved price margins, and ultimately enhanced economic viability resulting from their risk management practices.
Poster includes handout materials.
|2009 National Extension Risk Management Education Conference