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Conference Name Impacts of Marketing and Risk Management Education and Producer Success

Emmy Kiphen


The Master Marketer Program trains producers in risk management and crop and livestock marketing skills with the uncertainties of markets, economics, legalities, weather, and technology. The course structure, a 64-hour program conducted over 8 weeks, allows time for attendees to evaluate program content within the context of their operations. Time and limited class size allows for participants to return with questions, consideration of a wide range of “what if” scenarios, and relationship building and networking. Participants learn from each other as well as the instructors. Subject matter is taught at a highly applied level, by instructors based upon their expertise and communication skills, using a combination of teaching techniques including lecture, problem solving, group-work simulation exercises, and game playing. During Master Marketer’s 23-year run, 1,246 participants have graduated from 29 programs.

The purpose of this research is to determine the program elements that lead to successful outcomes for producers in bettering their marketing confidence and marketing expertise. Graduates are surveyed 2-1/2 years after course completion as an assessment of improved marketing behavior covering the application of marketing tools and skills that have led to higher prices and economic impacts from change of practices. Evaluations show an increase in participants’ understanding and use of marketing concepts including budget analysis, marketing plan development, general risk management, and crop and livestock marketing strategies. The survey response rate for the 2-1/2 year post-evaluations has averaged about 60% and indicates increased returns to producers’ bottom-lines averaging 4.5% and $35,000 per participant per year.