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Marketing

When you first get interested in farming, you tend to think about what you’d like to produce, what your land is like, where you’re going to place your crops, how you’re going to care for your livestock. One of the basics though is answering the question “What is my market?” before any crops go in the ground or any livestock is purchased. Every operation will answer that question differently depending upon the time they have available, how much labor they can put into the operation, and what kinds of risk they are willing to assume.

Direct-marketing is definitely one way to market your products. Direct-market farmers rely on three unique sets of skills – producing, managing and marketing. Very few people can ever totally excel at all three skills. As a beginning farmer, be realistic about what you can do. Know that it will take time to develop production skills, financial management skills, and marketing and selling skills.

Evaluating market channels and opportunities

MU Extension sources

External resources

Pricing

MU Extension sources

External resources

Building your brand

MU Extension sources

External resources

Merchandizing your products

External resources

Recommended books

  • The New Farmers' Market: Farm-Fresh Ideas for Producers, Managers, and Communities, 2001. Vance Corum, Marcie Rosenzweig and Eric Gibson. New World Publishing, Auburn, Calif.
    Order printed copies

Learning salesmanship

MU Extension publications

Recommended books

  • Successful Nonverbal Communication: Principles and Applications. 1986. Dale G. Leathers. Macmillan Publishing Company, New York, N.Y.
  • Win-Win Selling: The Original 4-Step Counselor Approach for Building Long-Term Relationships with Buyers. 2003. Wilson Learning Library. Nova Vista Publishing, Herentals, Belgium.
  • Zingerman's Guide to Giving Great Service. 2004. Ari Weinzweig. Hyperion, New York, N.Y.

General marketing information

MU Extension sources

  • Marketing
    Includes publications on marketing, building your brand, capturing and creating value, farmers’ markets, and other marketing topics