Ag Marketing Resource Center

April- June 2002

Don Hofstrand , value-added farm management specialist

Problem

In an effort to maintain the viability of farm numbers and rural areas, farmers have turned to value-added agriculture to maintain their viability. Value-added agriculture involves moving up the food supply chain to capture additional profits beyond the farm gate. However, these farm groups need help in developing viable value-added businesses that generate profits for farmer investors and jobs for local communities.

Response

USDA issued a request for proposal for a $5 million grant to start a value-added agriculture center. Iowa State University Extension, along with partners, applied for the grant and were awarded the grant.

Impact

The Agricultural Marketing Resource Center (AgMRC) is "An Information Resource for Value-added Agriculture". The clients of AgMRC are farmers and processors.

The scope of the project is three years. It is a pilot project that may continue to be funded after the three-year period. The amount awarded is $5 million over the three-year period. It is a matching grant where the recipients need to match the $5 million. The Iowa State University Extension portion of the grant is matched by the partial time commitment to value-added agriculture of 31 extension field staff and 11 extension campus staff.

Primary partners involved in the Center are Iowa State University Extension, Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD), Kansas State University , Ag Issues Center, University of California . Secondary partners involved in the Center are Oklahoma State University and Sparks Commodities

Goals of AgMRC are:

At this point an Advisory Council has been created. They met in San Diego in February. Staff has been hired to being the development process. A sample of the web site has been created www.AgMRC.org.

 

Page last updated: July 11, 2006
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu