Access information about certifications and best practices for marketing and distributing your products, as well as industry organizations, farmland preservation, and much more.
Listen is as regional farmers and ranchers talk about how they use FoodHub to find new customers and market their products.
Selling Strategies for Local Food Producers
Published by University of Missouri Extension, this guide outlines strategies to assist farmers in selling their produce in a variety of direct market settings such as farmer’s markets and CSAs, and to restaurants, cooperatives, and institutions. (1.6 MB PDF)
Small Farm and Direct Marketing Handbook
The Washington State Department of Agriculture publishes "The Green Book" to help beginning, established and/or transitioning farmers understand the rules and regulations for direct marketing an endless range of food, flower, seed and nursery products in Washington State, however much of the guidance is useful for farmers throughout the FoodHub region.
Northwest Direct: Improving Markets for Small Farms
Northwest Direct is a collaborative effort to understand, evaluate and improve direct marketing opportunities for small farms. Project partners include land grant universities, government agencies, non-profits, and farmers across Washington, Oregon and Idaho. These farm case studies were developed to provide in-depth information about the direct and semi-direct marketing opportunities that exist for farmers (some of whom are FoodHub Members!) within their regional food system and how these opportunities are captured by a diverse set of successful producers. (0 B HTML)
Direct Marketing Guide
This publication on direct marketing alternatives - with emphasis on niche, specialty and value-added crops - features many farm case studies, as well as information on enterprise budgets and promotion/publicity. A new section discusses implications of Internet marketing and e-commerce for agriculture. (698.1 KB PDF)
Pricing for Profit
The Agricultural Marketing Resource Center article explains how to price your products to bring you the best profit when direct marketing. (0 B CFM)
Direct Marketing Budgeting Tool
Use this calculator to help you to choose the most profitable direct marketing methods for your business, as well as estimate and compare the returns from selling your produce through CSAs, institutional sales, and farmers markets. (78.5 KB XLS)
Fishermen's Direct Marketing Manual
If you're a commercial fisherman and thinking of marketing your own catch, the Fishermen's Direct Marketing Manual is for you. This free publication is packed with lots of advice and suggestions on the pros and cons of direct marketing. Chapters address strategies for distributing seafood, finding domestic and international customers for the catch, packaging and shipping seafood products, the basics of business planning, and other important topics. (0 B PDF)
Alaska Farmers Market Association
California Farmers' Markets Association
California Federation of Certified Farmers' Markets
Idaho farmers' markets and direct marketing
Oregon Farmers' Markets Association
New York Farmers Market Training Manual
Use this manual from the New York Farmers Market to find resources on managing a market and more.
Background on Regional Food Hubs
Many food producers are challenged by the lack of adequate distribution and processing infrastructure that would give them needed access to new markets. This white paper by James Barham, Agricultural Economist at the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service explains how regional food hubs can greatly support these producers, and to encourage smaller farmers to scale up their operations. (265.8 KB PDF)
Food Hubs: Viable Regional Distribution Solutions
Food hubs, or regional food aggregation and coordination facilities, offer great promise for systemic social and environmental change. This webinar focuses on key elements of successful food hubs provides a clear illustration of the variety of models that exist, and the outcomes they offer.
U.S. Food Hubs
This resource from the Good Food Network is a database of food hubs listed by state. Most entries are linked to a website for more information.
Leveraging Existing Infrastructure
In this webinar, Karen Karp of Karp Resources provides illustrative examples of the ways in she has worked collaboratively with her clients to overcome some of the barriers to food system change at scale. (0 B ORG/RESOURCES/NGFN-CLUSTER-CALLS/LEVERAGING-EXISTING-INFRASTRUCTURE/LEVERAGING-EXISTING-INFRASTRUCTURE-FOR-SIGNIFICANT-FOOD-SYSTEM-CHANGE-FOOD-HUBS-REGIONAL-DISTRIBUTION-FARM-TO-SCHOOL-AND-MORE)
Selling to Schools & Institutions
Marketing Guide to Getting Started with Farm to Cafeteria Programs
The WSDA's Small Farm and Direct Marketing Program published this useful marketing guide for getting started with Farm to Cafeteria programs. In addition to selling strategies and marketing recommendations for farmers, it outlines types of food service models and provides tips on initiating contact with schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, nursing homes, senior meal programs, and other institutions. (2.9 MB PDF)
Step-by-Step Marketing Guide for Selling to Schools
Produced for the Michigan Farm to School program at Michigan State University, this step-by-step guide is useful for all farmers wanting to sell their produce to schools as well as other institutions. (4.3 MB PDF)
Nuevos Mercados Para Su Cosecha/New Ways to Sell What you Grow
Una publicación para los agricultores hispano hablantes vender sus productos a instituciones; información sobre organizaciones que ayudan a agricultores Latinos. This resource for Spanish-speaking farmers provides information and purchasing guidelines to help farmers sell excess produce in a number of institutional settings. Produced by Community Food Security Coalition, National Center for Appropriate Technology, and National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, printed copies can be ordered by calling 1-800-ASK-NCAT. An audio copy may be downloaded from: http://attra.ncat.org/audio/. (1 MB PDF)
Farmer’s Guide to Hosting Farm Visits for Children
A how-to guide to help farmers facilitate farm field trips for children, produced by the University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program. Includes suggestions for planning the trip, age-appropriate activities for children, group management, and safety considerations.
Selling Directly to Institutions
This excerpt from the WSDA's Green Book provides excellent guidance on selling directly to institutions. If you're considering selling to schools, universities, child-care centers, hospitals or other institutions, start here. (99.7 KB PDF)
Alaska Diversified Livestock Association
Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission
Alaska Department of Agriculture Marketing Services
The Alaska Department of Agriculture Marketing Services provides marketing and production expertise to Alaska growers by increasing their ability to market Alaska Grown products and maintain viable farms. Some of the division's marketing programs include: the Alaska Grown program, the Alaska Food & Farm Products Directory, a Cooperative Marketing Program that provides matching funds to assist in making Alaska Grown products more visible to the public.
University of Alaska Cooperative Extension Service
California Apple Commission
California Asparagus Commission
California Avocado Commission
California Beef Council
Dairy Council of California
California Date Advisory Board
California Figs Advisory Board
California Garlic and Onion Advisory Board
California Table Grape Commission
California Kiwifruit Commission
California Pear Advisory Board
California Pepper Commission
California Rice Commission
California Sea Urchin Commission
California Sheep Commission
California Strawberry Commission
California Walnut Commission
California Wheat Commission
California Lake County Wine grape Commission
California Mendocino County Wine & Wine grape commission
California Sonoma Wine grape Commission
California Department of Agriculture Marketing Services
This division of the California Department of Agriculture assists in the promotion and administrative oversight of agricultural marketing programs in order to promote California agricultural products.
University of California Cooperative Extension
Governor's Office of Economic Development: Start a Business
Idaho Apple Commission
Idaho Cattle Commission
Idaho Bean Commission
Idaho Potato Commission
Idaho Grain Producers Association
Idaho Mint Commission
Idaho Grape Growers and Wine Producers Commission
Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Commission
Selling Directly to Restaurants and Grocery Stores
This excerpt from the WSDA's Green Book provides excellent guidance on selling directly to restaurants and grocers. If you're considering selling to either of these groups, start here.
Idaho Department of Agriculture Marketing Information
Idaho Department of Agricultural Marketing Information is a public resource providing marketing assistance to Idaho's food and agriculture industry by promoting agriculture goods and services and establishing domestic and foreign markets.
University of Idaho Extension
Montana Cattlemen's Association
Flathead Lake Cherry Growers Association
Northern Pulse Growers Association
Montana Seed Growers Association
Montana Stockgrowers Association
Montana Suffollk Sheep Breeders Association
Montana Wheat and Barley Committee
Montana Agricultural Development Division
Montana's Agricultural Development Division administers programs directed at promoting and enhancing Montana agriculture. Within the Division is the Rural Development Bureau, the Wheat and Barley Bureau, the Agriculture Marketing and Business Development Bureau, and the Montana State Grain Laboratory Bureau.
Montana State University Extension
Oregon Potato Commission
Oregon Berry Commission
Oregon Strawberry Commission
Oregon Blueberry Commission
Oregon Salmon Commission
Oregon Dairy Commission
Oregon NW Cherries Commission
Oregon Albacore Commission
Oregon Beef Council
Oregon Clover Commission
Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission
Oregon Grains Commission
Oregon Hazelnut Commission
Oregon Hop Commission
Oregon Orchardgrass Seed Producers Commission
Oregon Raspberry & Blackberry Commission
Oregon Ryegrass Growers Seed Commission
Oregon Sweet Cherry Commission
Oregon Trawl Commission
Oregon Wheat Commission
Oregon Hazelnut Commission
Oregon Department of Agriculture Development and Marketing Division
The Oregon Agricultural Development and Marketing Division (ADMD) offers an integrated program to address development and marketing needs of Oregon's agricultural industry, addressing local business and market development, regional and national market development, international market development, and Commodity Commission oversight.
The Agricultural Reclamation Act created by Friends of Family Farmers
Friends of Family Farmers developed the Agricultural Reclamation Act platform after traveling the state to discuss the future of socially responsible farming in Oregon. (573.6 KB PDF)
Oregon State University Extension
Washington State Apple Commission
Washington State Asparagus Commission
Washington State Beef Commission
Washington Beer Commission
Washington Blueberry Commission
Puget Sound Salmon Commission
Washington Dairy Products Commission
Washington Dry Pea & Lentil Commission
Washington Fryer Commission
Washington Grain Commission
Washington Red Raspberry Commission
Washington Seed Potato Commission
Washington State Bulb Commission
Washington State Fruit Commission
Washington State Potato Commission
Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission
Washington Wine Commission
Washington State Department of Agricultural Marketing and Business Services
WSDA helps Washington food and agricultural producers sell their products in domestic and international markets, and promote the agricultural industry through international marketing and export assistance, marketing and business assistance programs, and educational agricultural fairs.
Washington State Farmers Market Association
Washington State University Extension
National Business Incubation Association
The National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) advances business incubation and entrepreneurship through providing information, education, advocacy and networking resources to early-stage companies.
Developing Your Farm's Marketing Plan
While there are examples of “If you grow it, they will come,” most farmers have to do some research to determine the who, what, where, when and why of marketing. As important as it is to understand who your potential customer is, it is just as important to get to know your competition. A marketing plan is an integral part of developing a business plan.While a business plan is important to guide the direction of the business, it is also a key component in seeking out and successfully receiving loans from lending institutions. (0 B PDF)
Gracious & Ruthless: Surprising Strategies for Business Success
Authored by Susan Sokol-Blosser of Sokol-Blosser winery, this compact book is packed with practical advice from someone who has lived the challenges of running a business and not only survived, but thrived.
Washington State Department of Agriculture, Licenses, Permits, and Certification
Oregon Department of Agriculture, License Requirements
California Department of Food and Agriculture, Licenses, Permits, Dairy Exemption Numbers, and Registrations
Idaho Department of Agriculture, Licenses and Registration
Montana Department of Agriculture, Commercial Licensing and Registration
Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Agriculture, Inspection Services
The database aims to facilitate the growth and success of the organic seed sector, and support farmers in meeting the National Organic Program's organic seed requirement.
Washington Farmlink is the state's leading program to link aspiring farmers and landowners and help build sustainable farming operations. Farmlink addresses barriers that farmers face in keeping their land in farming and provides succession technical assistance and education.
California Farmlink offers a range of services to beginning farmers and landowners, including transitioning farmland and technical assistance in business planning, equity building and farm succession.
Farm Succession Risk Management Checklist
A great resource for farmers who will be retiring soon, this tool calculates your farm succession risk and provides resources depending on your risk level.
This free tool from the Center for Farm Financial Management helps farmers and ranchers through every step of creating and implementing an individual farm transition plan, including having your plan reviewed by professional business advisors and succession educators.
Jefferson LandWorks Collaborative
Jefferson LandWorks Collaborative is an innovative network of organizations in Jefferson County, WA that work strategically to keep rural landscapes economically viable.
Guide to Environmental Markets for Farmers and Ranchers
This is a practical guide to ways agricultural producers can profit from the growing environmental marketplace in the state of Washington, published by the American Farmland Trust. Explore this document to learn more about what environmental markets are, how to identifying opportunities, evaluate, and create a plan for getting involved in environmental markets.
This excerpt from the WSDA's Green Book provides excellent guidance on agricultural insurance. (109 KB PDF)
This excerpt from the WSDA's Green Book provides excellent guidance on agricultural taxes. (116.6 KB PDF)
This risk analysis tool from the USDA Risk Management Agency will guide you in evaluating the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) involved in any business enterprise (933.3 KB PDF)
So You Want to be a Farmer in Oregon?
This document from Oregon Department of Agriculutre will tell you everything you need to know about how to start an agricultural business in Oregon, and provides a good outline for how to get started farming in other states. (6.7 MB PDF)
Financing Your Business in Oregon
This is a business resource guide for Oregon's entrepreneurs published by the USDA. It includes many resources from business planning to financing loans and grants.
Farm Finances: Organizing and Understanding Your Numbers
The goal of this webinar video is to make basic accounting approachable to people with no accounting experience and to encourage new farmers to develop good record- keeping habits at the outset.
Organic Strawberry Production Manual
Nothing screams spring more than a delicious basket of ripe and juicy strawberries. Strawberries are among the most important fruit crops in California—with organic production on the rise. Organic strawberry sales in California have grown from $2 million in 1997 to over $55 million in 2009. Grow your own delicious organic strawberries this year with the help of this detailed how-to guide. (0 B ASPX)
Farmer's Guide to Organic Contracts
The Farmers’ Guide to Organic Contracts can assist farmers with all types of agricultural contracts, but the guide’s primary purpose is to serve farm operations certified as organic under U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP) regulations. Specific suggestions and information for certified organic operations are highlighted throughout this resource. (0 B PDF)
Cover Crop in Organic Systems: Western State Implementation Guide
Developed by Oregon Tilth, this guide provides an overview of how cover crops can be used on organic operations, different purposes for the use of this conservation practice, design considerations, and related National Organic Program (NOP) regulations. Part of a five-guide series, this resource will enable the Federal Environmental Quality Incentives (EQIP) Program, especially the EQIP Organic Initiative, to be more responsive to and valuable for organic farmers. (0 B ORG/FILES/R-E/OCP/COVER-CROP-IN-ORGANIC-SYSTEMS)
Nutrient Management Plan (590) for Organic Systems
This document is an instruction guide for creating and implementing a nutrient management plan (NMP) on certified or transitioning organic lands.An NMP for organically managed lands describes the amount, source, placement, form, and timing of the application of nutrients and soil amendments, generally by field, to meet crop nutrient needs while protecting water quality, improving soil health, and utilizing manure and other organically acceptable byproducts as nutrient sources. (0 B ORG/FILES/R-E/OCP/NUTRIENT-MANAGEMENT)
National Agricultural Law Center, Legal and Business Guide for Specialty Crop Producers
Created by the National Agricultural Law Center and the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, this document addresses a wide range of legal and business opportunities and challenges faced by specialty crop producers. It includes chapters on contract laws, food safety, food labeling, agricultural labor, business organizations, and the application of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. In addition, since the industry is also confronted by other unique challenges that directly affect competitiveness, it also includes a chapter addressing the marketing of various types of specialty crops, and one discussing the third party audit system.
Ag In Uncertain Times
Developed and managed by the Western Extension Committee, this site provides live webinars and other tools designed to provide current information to farmers, ranchers and educators about the challenges in today’s agricultural economy.
Farms.com Risk Management Advisory Service
An agriculture commodity marketing and price risk management service provider for North American farmers, producers, and agribusiness. Farms.com Risk Management Inc. works with producers as advisors-not brokers- in the marketing/selling of crops and/or your market hogs, as well as during the purchase of feed inputs for hogs
USDA Risk Management Agency
USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) helps producers manage their business risks through effective, market-based risk management solutions. RMA’s mission is to promote, support, and regulate sound risk management solutions to preserve and strengthen the economic stability of America’s agricultural producers.
Western Center for Risk Management Education
Helping farm and ranch families to improve their ability to manage the financial risks associated with farming and ranching is the sole purpose of the Extension Risk Management Education (RME) Program. Producer Focused Results therefore are at the core of the Regional Risk Management Education Grant Programs and the work of the WSU Extension Western Center for Risk Management Education.
Pacific Northwest Risk Management Education Project
The Pacific Northwest Risk Management Education Project provides risk management education opportunities for cereal grain producers in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. This includes learning materials and decision tools for Agricultural Risk Management to manage financial, production, and price risk.
Farm Wisdom: Managing Risk on Small Farms Video Series
A diverse set of small-scale producers served as farm hosts for WSDA’s 2009-2011 mobile workshops aimed at helping farmers reduce risk in their businesses. Production practices, direct marketing strategies, business planning, energy conservation practices, regulations for raw and processed products are all featured in this video series. More than 100 Washington farmers participated in nine workshops and found the information to be so useful, that we began filming them in order to reach more farmers with this invaluable, practical information.
The Economics of Regional Meat
This Good Food Network webinar delves into exploring roadblocks to regional meat production, and where producers should concentrate their efforts to most effectively pave the way towards success.
Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network
This non-profit organization is made up of a national network of people and organizations creating and supporting appropriate-scale meat processing infrastructure for niche meat markets. They assist processors, producers, buyers, regulators, and others involved in this growing sector by coordinating, distributing, and developing information and resources to improve access to processing infrastructure and the long-term stability of this sector.
For Specialty Product Manufacturers
OSU Food Innovation Center
Are you a food processor looking for assistance with processing development, packaging engineering, shelf life studies, or consumer sensory testing? The OSU Food Innovation can help you with their extensive client-based services.
Bonner Business Center
This business incubator provides office and manufacturing space, including a commercial kitchen, available to small-scale food processing companies by the hour. Other services, like access to business counselors, are available.
Malcolm Gladwell on Spaghetti Sauce
Author Malcolm Gladwell explains how the food industry's pursuit of the perfect spaghetti sauce changed the way American food businesses market their products to consumers.
National Association for the Specialty Food Trade
NASFT provides resources and education, legal assistance, and networking opportunities for the specialty food industry.
The Food Institute is a specialty product manufacturer's go-to resource for the most up to date information on the food industry. Check out their wide array of reports and studies on food marketing, regulations and commodities.
American Farmland Trust
The mission of American Farmland Trust is to help farmers and ranchers protect their land, produce a healthier environment and build successful communities. This well respected policy advocacy organization offers education on farmland preservation, the importance of local food systems, and protecting natural resources.
Farmland Information Center
The Farmland Information Center is a public/private partnership between the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and American Farmland Trust, and serves as clearinghouse for information about farmland protection and stewardship.
Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development
The Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development website is an excellent beginning resource for education on farmland in Oregon, and zoning laws.
Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Land Trust (OSALT)
OSALT holds land for use by future generations of growers, and works with current growers to conduct research and/or education on the lands protected. Visit this website if you are a landowner interested in a farmland easement anywhere in Oregon.
Southern Oregon Land Conservancy
Since 1978, The Southern Oregon Land Conservancy has been working with landowners and communities to save this region's special places for today, tomorrow, and beyond.
North Coast Land Conservancy
The north Coast Land Conservancy serves as resource for Northwest Oregon coastal communities and landowners to conserve and protect land in perpetuity for its ecological, passive recreational and cultural value. Visit this website if you are an agricultural landowner interested in a farmland easement on the Northwest Oregon coast.
Oregon Rangeland Trust
The Oregon Rangeland Trust exists to help Oregon ranch and farm landowners protect and preserve the long-term viability of their ecologically significant private lands. Visit this website if you are a rangeland owner interested in a farmland easement.
Greenbelt Land Trust
The Greenbelt Land Trust (GLT) works to protect open spaces in the Mid-Willamette Valley through working with willing landowners and private and governmental organizations to permanently safeguard farmland, forest, meadowland, and riparian areas. Visit this website if you are an agricultural land owner interested in a farmland easement in the Mid-Willamette Valley.
Deschutes Land Trust
The Deschutes Land Trust's mission is to work cooperatively with landowners to conserve land for wildlife, scenic views and local communities. Visit this website if you are an agricultural landowner interested in a farmland easement or prospective land buyer in Central Oregon.
Office of Farmland Preservation, Washington State
The Office of Farmland Preservation strives to promote the vitality of farming, farmers, and ranchers through presenting policy recommendations to the Governor, the Legislature, the Office of Farmland Preservation, and others and by enlisting public support. This website is also an excellent resource for farm succession planning.
Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington
Everything you ever wanted to know about farmland preservation in Washington State!
Land Trust of Treasure Valley
The Land Trust of Treasure Valley identifies lands with special natural, scenic, recreational and agricultural values, and works with willing landowners to conserve these lands through acquisition, easement, education, and good stewardship. Visit this website if you are an agricultural landowner interested in farmland preservation in southwestern Idaho.
Southern Idaho Land Trust
The Southern Idaho Land Trust, Inc. is a private non-profit organization, managed by local residents, whose mission is to provide landowners with voluntary opportunities to preserve and protect lands for the future. Visit this website if you are an agricultural landowner interested in farmland preservation in southern Idaho.
National Resource Conservation Service Farm and Ranchlands Protection Program, Montana
This program helps farmers and ranchers in Montana preserve their agricultural land through providing matching funds to State, Tribal and local governments, and non-governmental organizations with farmland protection programs to purchase conservation easements.
Montana Association of Land Trusts
The Montana Association of Land Trusts is a group of 12 separate nonprofit land trust organizations working on private land conservation and voluntary conservation agreements throughout the state of Montana. Visit this website if you are an agricultural land owner interested in a farmland easement in Montana.
Alaska Farmland Trust
Alaska Farmland Trust (AFTC) is a private, non-profit land trust dedicated to assisting landowners in preserving their working agricultural lands.
California Council of Land Trusts
The California Council of Land Trusts acts as a unified voice for more than 150 land trusts working in local communities throughout California. Together, land trusts share a common vision for protecting the best of California -- natural areas, farmlands, parks, and clean water and air. Visit this website if you are an agricultural land owner interested in farmland preservation anywhere in California.