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Tutorials Home > Scaling Up Tutorial

Scaling Up for Regional Markets Tutorial

Scaling up for regional markets often refers to an increase in the amount of land in production, herd size, enterprises, or markets. Scaling up can also refer to improving current production systems in order to increase sales. In either case, there are many risks and challenges associated in scaling up, especially as a farmer prepares to gain access in to the wholesale market. This tutorial provides lessons and information for farmers who have success in smaller and more direct marketing channels and who are interested in expanding their operations to meet a growing demand for local food. The following lessons are included:


Introduction to This Tutorial

Andy Pressman by Andy Pressman, NCAT Agriculture Specialist



NCAT/ATTRA issues in a number of ways. By completing any of the tutorials below you'll acquire detailed knowledge. By earning our badges you'll be able to demonstrate these very specific skills and share them digitally. More details here.

We invite you to watch this video to learn even more:

Lesson 1 ~ Are You Ready to Scale Up?

Tammy Hinmanby Tammy Howard, NCAT Agriculture Specialist


This lesson includes:

  1. Assessing whether or not scaling up is for you
  2. Considerations before scaling up
    • Goals
    • Marketing
    • Labor
    • Equipment


Lesson 2 ~ Planning for Profit

Jeff Schahczenskiby Jeff Schahczenski, NCAT Agriculture Economist


This lesson includes:

  1. Introduction & Challenges
  2. Financial Capacity
  3. Costs of Production
  4. What Product Prices and Revenue Can I Count On?
  5. Potential Profitable Alternative Marketing Strategies
  6. Business Plan
  7. Capacity to Adapt and Change



Lesson 3 ~ Marketing

Chris Lentby Chris Lent, NCAT Agriculture Specialist


This lesson includes:

  1. Marketing Plan Development
  2. Maintaining or Increasing Direct Markets
  3. Wholesale Markets


Lesson 4 ~ Land Access

Zoe Carlbergby Zoe Carlberg, NCAT Agriculture Specialist


This lesson includes:

  1. Renting vs. Buying
  2. Evaluating a Piece of Land
  3. Leases
  4. Financing


Lesson 5 ~ Labor

by NCAT Agriculture Specialists



Lesson 6 ~ Equipment & Infrastructure

Andy Pressman by Andy Pressman, NCAT Agriculture Specialist


This lesson includes:

  • Scaling Up Equipment & Infrastructure
  • Planning & Investment Options
  • Tractor Considerations
  • Infrastructure
  • Cooling & Storage


Lesson 7 ~ Wholesale Readiness

Chris Lentby Chris Lent, NCAT Agriculture Specialist


This lesson includes:

  1. Food Safety
  2. Aggregation/Distribution
  3. Sizing, Grading, Labeling, and Packaging


Lesson 8 ~ Livestock

Part 1 ~ Wholesale and Direct Marketing

Dave Scottby Dave Scott, NCAT Agriculture Specialist


This lesson includes:

  1. Scale Up to What?
  2. Marketing Method
  3. Selling the Undesirables


Part 2 ~ Processing

Kevin Ellisby Kevin Ellis, NCAT Poultry Specialist


This lesson includes:

  1. Land Base
  2. Scheduling/Breeding
  3. Integrating with Other Enterprises/Species
  4. Marketing/Processing


Lesson 9 ~ Case Studies

Marlie Wilson

Hubs to Schools - The Iowa Food Hub's Farm to School Pilot

by Marlie Wilson, Iowa Food Corps Fellow


Ann Robinson

Bon Appétit Management Company

by Ann Robinson, NCAT Agriculture Specialist


Tammy Hinman

Johnson's Backyard Garden

by Tammy Hinman, NCAT Agriculture Specialist




» Back to Tutorials Home


Do you have any questions or comments about this project?

Please contact:
Andy Pressman (Project Coordinator)
NCAT, The National Center for Appropriate Technology
P.O. Box 3838
Butte, MT 59701


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