The University of Arizona
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
What has been done?
The 10th annual conference was held at the Prescott College’s Wolfberry Farm, located near Chino Valley Arizona in the summer of 2005. Issues related to zoning amidst urban growth and organic certification issues were addressed. The Arizona Legislature is currently considering “right to farm” legislation that may limit some of the zoning regulations that small direct marketers near and within urban fringes are facing. The event draws both regular and new participants who are investigating whether they should try direct farm marketing. Generally 50 to100 individuals attend the annual conference and the handbook curriculum has reached thousands of people.
A web portal for connecting direct marketers with consumers has been developed. The site allows consumers to enter their zip code and a radius that they are willing to travel or secure the selected agricultural products from. Producers can input harvest and production calendars so that consumers can see when their most active harvest is occurring. Producers will also be able to monitor the level of requests for products that may not exist in their area.
Other publications for direct farm marketers were released in late 2004 and 2005 entitled, “Western Profiles of Innovative Agricultural Marketing: Examples from Direct Farm Marketing and Agri-Tourism Enterprises” and “Certification and Labeling Considerations for Agricultural Producers.”
More than 3,500 and 2,800 hard copies of Western Profiles and Certification and Labeling Considerations have been distributed throughout the U.S. These publications are also available for free on the Internet and producers have been accessing the publication online. On-line access of the printed editions are available at http://cals.arizona.edu/arec/wemc/wemc.html. More than 12,000 downloads were made during 2005 of the entire book or an article in the book. Thus, more than 30 individuals a day have been served with this publication (even after reducing downloads from robots).
Western Profiles is “a timely topic and one that has not received a great deal of research in recent years. I applaud the authors and the WEMC for taking a look at this issue.”
“The publication on third party certification and labeling requirements is one of the most thorough I have seen on this topic.”
The Direct Farm Marketing Handbook is still widely accessed and maintains the #1 listing for “Direct Farm Marketing” on the Google search engine (rank is based on cross-listings of the web site and sites selected by users). Requests to utilize the handbook for a short course or class have come from other Western states in addition to Arizona, and Australia, Canada and South Africa. During 2005, over 60,000 downloads of the online version of the book were logged, including the whole book or parts of the book.
I actually used the information from your website to begin looking into marketing my eggs! I must have used a ream of paper and 2 ink cartridges printing it off. I found the section on business planning extremely helpful.” –participant.