Marketing, Business & Risk Management

No matter what you grow, you’ll need to sell it at a profit if you’re going to stay in business. These resources can guide agricultural business planning and help farmers manage the amount of risk in their enterprises. In addition, some of these resources offer advice on diversifying, developing new markets, and adding value to farm products to increase income. Several categories of publications are offered:

 


 

Videos

Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (Mien Narration)
Rural Energy for America Program (REAP): Financing for Clean Energy in Rural Montana
Returns on Renewable Energy Investments
Food Safety for Organic Growers in Texas
Grass-finished Beef: Production & Marketing
All About Farm Energy Audits
Urban Farms: Commercial Farms or Socially Minded Operations?
Managing Risks on an Urban Farm
Crop Planning for Vegetable Farmers
Cover Crop Insurance Policies
Understanding Crops Insurance Options for Small- to Medium-Scale Diversified Farms
Farm Finances: Organizing and Understanding Your Numbers
All About Farm Energy Audits


 

NOTE: Some of the following documents are available as Adobe Acrobat PDFs. Download Acrobat Reader.

 

Organic Marketing and Labeling

Direct Marketing Lamb: A Pathway – IP518

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Guide for Organic Crop Producers – IP225

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Guide for Organic Livestock Producers – IP228

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Guide for Organic Processors – IP421

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Maple Sugaring: An Introduction to Small-Scale Commercial Production – IP526

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Marketing Organic Grains – CT154

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National Organic Program Compliance Checklist for Handlers – IP301

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National Organic Program Compliance Checklist for Producers – IP232

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Organic Certification of Farms and Businesses Producing Agricultural Products – IP222

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Organic Certification Process – IP262

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Organic Marketing Resources – IP124

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Organic Orchard, Vineyard, and Berry Crop Documentation Forms – IP238

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Preparing for an Organic Inspection: Steps and Checklists – IP261

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Direct Marketing Options

Bringing Local Food to Local Institutions – IP242

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Community Supported Agriculture – IP289

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Direct Marketing – IP113

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Farm to School Sales: Profiles of Ranches Making It Work – IP539

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Farmers Markets: Marketing and Business Guide – IP146

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Food Hubs: A Producer Guide – IP455

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Gợi Ý Khi Bán Hàng Tại: Chợ Nông Sản – IP543

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Lamb Cut Guide for Direct Marketers – IP534

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Marketing Tip Sheets – IP394

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Montana Farmers Market EBT Manual – n/a

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New Markets for Your Crops – IP328

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Scaling Up Your Vegetable Farm for Regional Markets – IP464

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Selling to Restaurants – IP255

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Small-Scale Sustainable Rabbit Production – IP445

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Social Media Tools for Farm Product Marketing – IP435

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Specialty Melon Production for Small and Direct-Market Growers – IP495

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Tips for Marketing Sheep and Goat Products: Dairy – IP396

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Tips for Marketing Sheep and Goat Products: Fiber – IP397

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Tips for Marketing Sheep and Goat Products: Live Animals – IP398

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Tips for Marketing Sheep and Goat Products: Meat – IP399

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Tips for Marketing Sheep and Goat Products: Vegetation Management Services – IP403

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Tips for Selling at Farmers Markets – IP423

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Tips for Selling at Roadside Stands – IP426

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Tips for Selling on the Internet – IP428

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Tips for Selling through CSAs – Community Supported Agriculture – IP422

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Tips for Selling to Aggregators/Grower Marketing Co-ops – IP434

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Tips for Selling to Grocery Stores – IP424

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Tips for Selling to Institutional Markets – IP427

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Tips for Selling to Produce Brokers – IP436

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Tips for Selling to Produce Distributors – IP431

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Tips for Selling to Produce Packing Houses – IP433

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Tips for Selling to Restaurants – IP425

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Tips for Selling to: Wholesale Buyers at Terminal Markets – IP432

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Tips for Selling with: Agritourism and “Pick-Your-Own” – IP429

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Value-Added and Processing

Adding Value to Farm Products: An Overview – IP141

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Edamame: Vegetable Soybean – IP286

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Food Dehydration Options – IP147

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Grain Processing: Adding Value to Farm Products – IP140

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Guide for Organic Processors – IP421

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Keys to Success in Value-Added Agriculture – IP172

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Maple Sugaring: An Introduction to Small-Scale Commercial Production – IP526

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Meat Plants: Improving Profitability in Small and Very Small Operations – IP385

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Oilseed Processing for Small-Scale Producers – IP134

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Organic Standards for All Organic Operations: Highlights of the USDA’s National Organic Program Regulations – IP325

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Organic Standards for Handling: Excerpts of USDA’s National Organic Program Regulations – IP333

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Small-Scale Egg Handling – IP348

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Small-Scale Sustainable Rabbit Production – IP445

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Soyfoods: Adding Value to Soybeans – CT153

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The Lambulator: A Cut-Yield Calculator for the Lamb Direct Marketer – IP530

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Working with Your Meat Processor – IP536

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Business Planning and Management

Agricultural Business Planning Templates and Resources – RL042

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Basic Accounting: Guidance for Beginning Farmers – IP443

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Beyond Basic Compensation – IP360

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Building Strong, Legally Enforceable Sales Agreements for Production Services

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Building Strong, Legally Enforceable Sales Agreements with Availability Sheets and Invoices

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California Guide to Labor Laws for Small Farms – IP467

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Case Studies and Fact Sheets for Labor Laws on California Small Farms – IP469

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Conservation Easements – IP239

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Drafting a Lease: Questions for Farmers and Landowners to Ask

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Evaluating a Farming Enterprise – IP041

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Farm Business Start-Up Checksheet – IP452

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Farm Employment Law: Know the Basics & Make Them Work for Your Farm

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Financing a Farmland Purchase: Legal Basics for Traditional & Non-Traditional Farmland Purchases

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Finding Land to Farm: Six Ways to Secure Farmland – IP349

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Food Hubs: A Producer Guide – IP455

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Marketing Tip Sheets – IP394

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Meat Plants: Improving Profitability in Small and Very Small Operations – IP385

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Moving Beyond Conventional Cash Cropping – IP201

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Planning for Profit in Sustainable Farming – IP419

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Positive Practices in Farm Labor Management – IP324

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Primer on Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Crop Insurance: Updates for 2018 – IP554

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Sample Employee Manual for a Farm

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Scaling Up for Institutional Markets: Midwest Case Studies – IP501

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Scaling Up Your Vegetable Farm for Regional Markets – IP464

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Social Media Tools for Farm Product Marketing – IP435

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Start a Farm in the City – IP350

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The Lambulator: A Cut-Yield Calculator for the Lamb Direct Marketer – IP530

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Tips About Farm Business Structures – IP451

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Tips About Farmer Income Tax – IP450

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Tips for Farm Leases and Contracts: Creating Smart, Effective Documents – IP449

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Tips for Marketing Sheep and Goat Products: Dairy – IP396

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Tips for Marketing Sheep and Goat Products: Fiber – IP397

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Tips for Marketing Sheep and Goat Products: Live Animals – IP398

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Tips for Marketing Sheep and Goat Products: Meat – IP399

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Tips for Marketing Sheep and Goat Products: Vegetation Management Services – IP403

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Tips for Selling at Farmers Markets – IP423

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Tips for Selling at Roadside Stands – IP426

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Tips for Selling on the Internet – IP428

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Tips for Selling through CSAs – Community Supported Agriculture – IP422

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Tips for Selling to Aggregators/Grower Marketing Co-ops – IP434

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Tips for Selling to Grocery Stores – IP424

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Tips for Selling to Institutional Markets – IP427

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Tips for Selling to Produce Brokers – IP436

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Tips for Selling to Produce Distributors – IP431

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Tips for Selling to Produce Packing Houses – IP433

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Tips for Selling to Restaurants – IP425

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Tips for Selling to: Wholesale Buyers at Terminal Markets – IP432

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Tips for Selling with: Agritourism and “Pick-Your-Own” – IP429

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Understanding Organic Pricing and Costs of Production – IP441

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Funding

Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities – IP354

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Federal Conservation Resources for Sustainable Farming and Ranching – IP294

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Financing Your Farm: Guidance for Beginning Farmers – IP420

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Primer on Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Crop Insurance: Updates for 2018 – IP554

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Mag IconSearch ATTRA’s Funding Opportunities Database

Where Else Can I Find Agricultural Funding Resources?

Grassroots Guide to the 2008 Farm Bill

Risk Management

Agricultural Risk Management – English and Spanish Curriculum
Organic Certification for Southern Farmers

An Illustrated Guide to Growing Safe Produce on Your Farm – IP382

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Beyond Basic Compensation – IP360

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Building Strong, Legally Enforceable Sales Agreements for Production Services

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Building Strong, Legally Enforceable Sales Agreements with Availability Sheets and Invoices

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California Guide to Labor Laws for Small Farms – IP467

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Case Studies and Fact Sheets for Labor Laws on California Small Farms – IP469

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Conservation Easements – IP239

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Drafting a Lease: Questions for Farmers and Landowners to Ask

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Farm Employment Law: Know the Basics & Make Them Work for Your Farm

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Financing a Farmland Purchase: Legal Basics for Traditional & Non-Traditional Farmland Purchases

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Guía Ilustrada para Producir Alimentos Seguros en su Gránja: Buenas Practicas – SP382

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Positive Practices in Farm Labor Management – IP324

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Primer on Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Crop Insurance: Updates for 2018 – IP554

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Sample Employee Manual for a Farm

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Scaling Up Your Vegetable Farm for Regional Markets – IP464

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Tips for Farm Leases and Contracts: Creating Smart, Effective Documents – IP449

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Other Marketing Topics

Beef Marketing Alternatives – IP290

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Direct Marketing Lamb: A Pathway – IP518

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Food Hubs: A Producer Guide – IP455

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Grazing Contracts for Livestock – IP247

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Local Foods No. 1 — Seed Spices: Cumin, Dill, Anise, Fennel, Caraway, Ajwain – IP377

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Local Foods No. 2 — Cilantro – IP378

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Local Foods No. 3 — Basils – IP379

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Local Foods No. 4 — Oregano – IP380

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Local Foods No. 5 — Hot Peppers (Chili Peppers) – IP381

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Pork: Marketing Alternatives – IP153

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Scaling Up for Institutional Markets: Midwest Case Studies – IP501

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Scaling Up Your Vegetable Farm for Regional Markets – IP464

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Social Media Tools for Farm Product Marketing – IP435

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The Economics of Grass-Based Dairying – IP210

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Understanding Organic Pricing and Costs of Production – IP441

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Cooperatives (USDA-RBS Publications)

Cooperative Farm Bargaining and Price Negotiations
Cooperative Feasibility Study Guide
[PDF/505KB]
Cooperative Marketing Agencies-in-Common
[PDF/2.7MB]
Farm Commons
Farmers should be empowered to take action on the legal situations that affect their operations. Farm Commons provides educational resources to help farmers identify issues, break them down into manageable steps, and give them the confidence to move forward.
How to Start a Cooperative
[PDF/135KB]
Rural Cooperatives Magazine
Small Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Cooperative Operations
[PDF/2.3MB]
Understanding Cooperatives: Ag Marketing Cooperatives
[PDF/179KB]
USDA-RBS Cooperatives Series publications
A list of additional USDA-RBS Cooperatives Series publications. The publications listed here are also available in print from ATTRA. Contact ATTRA at 800-346-9140 to request copies.

Links to Other Marketing and Business Information

Agricultural Marketing Resource Center (AgMRC)
Iowa State University
Farm Commons
Farmers should be empowered to take action on the legal situations that affect their operations. Farm Commons provides educational resources to help farmers identify issues, break them down into manageable steps, and give them the confidence to move forward.
FARMDATA Open Source Records Management System for Produce Farmers
How to Direct Market Your Beef, SARE
Marketing Strategies for Farmers and Ranchers, SARE
Meat, Poultry and Egg Product Inspection Directory
MOSES Fearless Farm Finances book
Organic Price Report (OPR)
The New Farm® Organic Price Report ™ from The Rodale Institute® publicizes weekly price updates of organic prices for a range of goods alongside conventional prices in the same region.
Taking the First Step: Farm and Ranch Alternative Enterprise and Agritourism Resource Evaluation Guide
[PDF/1.7MB]
USDA – Agriculture Marketing Service, Market News, Fruits and Vegetables Portal
Provide food hub organizers with information needed to estimate sales and prices. Historical data on prices, origins, movement, and other aspects of the fresh produce industry.
USDA Livestock, Poultry and Grain Market News, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service
Western Profiles of Innovative Agricultural Marketing: Examples from Direct Farm Marketing and Agri-Tourism Enterprises

 

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This page was last updated on: September 14, 2017