Marketing Your Product
Marketing your farmstead or artisan product is as important as producing it – a key that experienced dairy artisans have come to learn. Fortunately, artisan dairy producers have the advantage of often producing a unique product, which adds to their ability to secure a marketing niche. Below are links to research documents and websites that will help you think about your niche, but we encourage you to also visit with current producers and attend workshops, field days and conferences.
ATTRA Publication Series on Marketing
ATTRA’s Direct Marketing/Business Management Series provides information on marketing alternatives for farmers. The emphasis is on niche, specialty and value-added production, and features many farm case studies as well as information on enterprise budgets and promotion/publicity. A new section discusses the implications of the internet and e-commerce for farmers.
Eat Well Guide
The Eat Well Guide is a free directory of sustainably-raised meat, poultry, dairy and eggs from stores, farms and restaurants across the country. Farmers can add their farm to be listed to the national directory.
Eatwild.com is an online source for safe, healthy, natural and nutritious grass-fed dairy products. The website’s goals are to provide scientific information about the benefits of raising and consuming animals on pasture, support farmers who practice grazing and help consumer find reliable sources of grass-fed products.
The Food Routes website is a project of the Food Routes Network, a national non-profit organization that provides communication tools, technical support, networking and information resources to organizations nationwide that are working to rebuild local, community-based food systems. Its strategic marketing/communications tools include the Food Routes website, national polling research, Buy Local campaign, Buy Local toolkits, listing of local farms and Farm-to-School tools and resources. Contact 814-349-6000 for further information.
Local Harvest finds farmers, farmers’ markets and other sources of sustainably grown food for consumers. Farmers can input their farm and product information to be listed on this national database.
North America Direct Marketing Association
The North America Direct Marketing Association provides information for farmers, extension agents and farm market managers to network with each other on the profitability of direct marketing. Members of the association receive benefits for joining the association. Contact 413-529-0386 for further information.
North Central Initiative for Small Farm Profitability
The North Central Initiative for Small Farm Profitability is a 4-state, multi-institutional, farm-to-fork effort designed to improve the profitability and competitiveness of small- and mid-sized farms in the Midwest . This initiative brings together a powerful blend of farmers, food and social scientists, marketers, extension educators, economists and others who are working to identify strategies that work. Some of the dairy-related research and case studies they have available include:
Planning for Success: Uplands Cheese Company, by Mark Hutchison
The Specialty Cheese Market, prepared by the Food Processing Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
The Marketing Potential of Conjugated Linoleic Acid in Cheese, by Laurie S. Z. Greenberg and Darcy Klasna
University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives: Marketing Case Studies
UW’s Center for Cooperatives’ Marketing Case Studies provides information and lessons from marketing cooperatives both in the US and abroad. Of particular interest to dairy producers are the following. Contact 608-262-3981 for further information.
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
Wisconsin ’s farms and agricultural businesses generate more than $51.5 billion in economic activity and provide jobs for 420,000 people. Growing Wisconsin agriculture is a high priority. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection offers free local, national and international marketing assistance to farmers through a variety of programs, such as Savor Wisconsin, Something Special from Wisconsin, and the Value Added Dairy Initiative. Contact 608-224-5115 for further information.
Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board
The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board can provide assistance with the marketing of cow dairy products. Their business is marketing, and their professional staff provide a wealthy of resources and assistance to producers. Call 608-836-8820 for further information.