Agribusiness/Economic Development Survey Conducted by Extension Professionals

Name and Position/Title:     
Melissa R. O’Rourke, Farm &Agribusiness Management Specialist

Fiscal Year Submitted:         
2011

POW Title and Number:      
120 Farm and Business Management
126 Farm Legal and Business Planning

Title: 
Agribusiness/Economic Development Survey Conducted by Extension Professionals

Issue (Who cares and Why): State and regional economic development officials, as well as  agricultural producers, are continuously cultivating and responding to opportunities to promote new markets for agricultural products.  Interested parties often need timely research and data to advances prospects for agribusiness development.  ISU Extension was contacted to provide necessary data for a site selection process required by a potential large food processing facility in northwest Iowa.

What Did You Do?
Based on discussions with state and regional economic development officials, Extension professionals identified the information needed and designed a survey instrument and methodology to efficiently collect and compile data.  Extension administered the survey to a sampling of large, medium and small producers, obtained responses and compiled a report within a 72-hour time period.  The data was shared with the food processing facility site selector to include numerical data as well as attitudinal responses and comments from producers.

Results:
As a result of these efforts, producer survey results were shared with the site selector who was “very impressed by the information” and made comment that the information provided was “one of the best responses” he had seen.  The site selector made particular note of data gathered regarding producer willingness to expand and emphasis on product quality.  Regional economic development officials informed Extension of the decision by the site selector that the northwest Iowa location “made the short list” for the possible food processing facility.  As the site selection process continues, Extension professionals stand ready to assist in advancing this opportunity which would benefit both on-farm producers and associated agribusinesses in Iowa.

Page last updated: June 22, 2011
Page maintained by Julie Honeick, jhoneick@iastate.edu