Cashing in on Value-Added Agriculture

October - December 2002

David Stender , swine field specialist


Situation

Value-added agriculture opportunities are important to producers trying to thrive in the changing rural economy and chronically low commodity prices.

Response

To respond, Iowa State University Extension agricultural specialists put together a conference featuring many breakout sections regarding value-added including organic agricultural opportunities. Breakout sessions included many topics related to biotechnology options and various aspects of organic production.

Impact

Results from the conference were:
85.7% thought the seminar would have eventual benefit to their operations.
85% Improving Your Income Beyond Commodity Prices
95% thought the session on Sustaining Your Farm and Community- would be beneficial to them.
Opportunities with Biotech Value-added Crops was reported beneficial by 86.4% of the participants.
Local Value-added Projects in NW Iowa session 90% thought this session was beneficial.
The breakout called, ‘How am I getting into identity preserved production?' was reported helpful by 86% of participants completing survey.
93.3% reported the ‘How to Preserve Identity' session as beneficial.
Other value-added opportunities were reported beneficial by 92% of operations.
88% said the session on Cost of organic farming was very beneficial to them.
All participants reported transitioning from commodity to organic crops as beneficial.
Marketing and certifying organic crops session was report beneficial by 85.7% of the participants.
When we asked the producers were asked about the impact of this program in terms of the eventual benefit of the program to their operations. 86% said the impact of the program would benefit them, 70% scored a 4 or 5 on the 5 point scale, 5 being extremely beneficial.
Producers were then asked to estimate the value of the conference and 77% said the program was excellent or superior another 14% said the program was good. 78% would recommend the program to others.

 

Page last updated: July 10, 2006
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu