Learn Now Videos

The Ag Entrepreneurship team has developed a series of Learn Now Videos for new, young and minority growers. The goals are to 1) increase next generation skills in identifying appropriate markets for their farm-fresh and value-added horticultural products and 2) expand next generation producers’ knowledge of market trends in consumer preferences so that specialty crops chosen and produced may meet or be ahead of customer demand.

Project supported in part by Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant ME44144963 - "Sustainable Production and Market Innovations for Next Generation Young and Hispanic Specialty Crop Growers."

Increase your profitability by discovering the latest trends, concerns, and interests of consumers who purchase from farms and food businesses. Find out how to use on-line resources to learn about, and benefit from, food trends so that you can build custom marketing strategies.

Food products have life cycles, from exciting launch through slow decline. This video shows how to get inspiration to re-energize a business and grow the market share.


Dave Hodge shared his wisdom on pricing for profits with farmers who market directly to consumers at Penn State Extension's Grow Your Market conference in Lancaster.

The Adams County Farmers Market Association helps farmers catch consumers' eyes through the SIMPLE method.

Do you market directly to consumers through farmers markets or a market on your own farm? Lela Reichart and Kathy Glahn presented SIMPLE – Sales, Interest, Motivation, Purchases, Location, and Evaluation - ways to capture consumers’ interest and dollars in these common direct marketing settings.

Understanding our cost structure and desired margin helps us identify appropriate pricing methods and their relationship to profitability.

Microsoft Excel, 1.0 MB

This simple tool will help you determine your break even costs for taking an animal from live weight, to carcass, to wrapped cuts of meat.


At the core of any successful business is a solid marketing plan. This holds true for any agriculture business, from a traditional cash grain operation to a small-scale produce operation, and everything in between.

Having concluded another market season - I start to wonder about how it might have been different this past year and what might we do to steer our direction for next year. If we spend a few moments wrapping our minds around how well we met our marketing objects this past year, we can begin the steps needed to make changes for the upcoming marketing season.

Simon Huntley, from Small Farm Central, shared a few tips for successful websites at the “Websites for Farmers” workshop sponsored by the PA Women in Ag Network.

Consumer Relations

Well-labeled produce and an encouraging word from the farmer can help you and your customers overcome percieved risks.

Do you know what drives customer choices? The American Restaurant Association has identified the top 10 food trends driving customer choices in 2011. Uncover these motivating trends as well as the 6 types of perceived risk that may be holding your customers back in this article from Ag Marketing expert and Penn State Extension Educator, John Berry.

Our products are not necessarily what customers are buying.

The choices most consumers face for their food and fiber purchasing are many. Why do they shop with us? I expect they are comfortable with our brand of customer service delivery. However, we should consider how we might best enhance the buying experience for our current and future customers.


Penn State’s Small Farm Project launched a new web site entitled “A Guide to Farming in Pennsylvania.” The site contains links to farm management and business information useful to a wide range of people, from those just starting an agribusiness to retiring farmers concerned about passing the farm on to the next generation.

Cooperatives (often referred to as “coops”) are an ancient concept where a group works together to meet common needs. This informal arrangement evolved over time into a formal business organization. Cooperatives have special status under tax laws in the United States and most other countries.