Direct Marketing Provides Added Value Opportunities for Farmers

Audio provided as a service to farm broadcasters by the Ag Marketing Research Council

Audio with Michael Boland, director of the Food Industry Center, University of Minnesota 

Suggested Lead:  There’s no question the farm economy is flat right now. Farmers around the country are taking steps to find more value-added products they can produce in an effort to improve their bottom lines. Michael Boland, Professor of Ag Economics at the University of Minnesota, says one method is direct marketing to consumers…tape.

Cut #1        :25        OC…”a year”

Farmers are also able to market their products to local restaurants and grocery stores as more and more of those businesses are trying to buy locally. Farmers are also looking at marketing products made from animal agriculture, including cheese, as an opportunity to add value.

He says the demand for locally-produced products has grown rapidly, which he’s seen firsthand during recent meals with friends…tape

Cut #2        :27        OC…”they’re cooking”

Boland says consumer demand for locally-produced food year-round has led to things like aquaponics and hydroponics, in order to supply produce all year long to restaurants. A hops industry has taken off in Minnesota because of the craft brewing industry.

He says the growth in demand for locally-produced foods is linked to the sustainability movement…tape

Cut #3        :43        OC…”these foods”

Resources are available online for producers interested in taking part in the direct-to-consumer market…tape

Cut #4        :32        OC…”at this”

The Ag Marketing Resource Center at Iowa State University also has a lot of information available to help producers interested in direct selling. The web address is