Value Added Agriculture Programs for Beginning Farmers

Madeline Schultz, P & S, Value Added Agriculture

Situation

Value-added agriculture provides opportunities for beginning farmers through production of farm products, which may required less start-up capital and greater non-commodity marketing opportunities.

Objective

The program goals were to provide opportunities for aspiring farmers to learn more about the various types of value-added agriculture occurring in Iowa and also to raise awareness of the opportunities that exist for beginners.

Activities

The Value-Added Ag Program (VAAP) spoke to several campus organizations about value-added agriculture and on November 19-20, 2004 VAAP held a Value-Added Ag Tour for beginning farmers with 17 attendees. Then in June 2005, an on-line toolkit and mentoring program for beginning farmers was published on the www.agmrc.org Web site. The tool-kit has valuable information for beginning farmers on topics ranging from loan programs to generational transitioning. The informal mentoring program lists over 30 Iowa mentors who are willing to share their expertise and experience in beginning a farm business that includes value-added aspects. The on-line tools are also linked on the Beginning Farmer Center Web site.

Impact

Over 100 students on campus learned more about value-added agriculture and 17 aspiring farmers attended the value-added tour. Tour participants felt they had a much greater awareness of what value-added agriculture is and the opportunities it provides to beginning farmers. Several of the tour attendees plan to incorporate value-added enterprises into their farming career plans. The on-line tools for beginning farmers provide links to both information and people resources to help beginners become successful farmers.

 2005   
121-- Adding Value and Enhancing Agricultural Products

Page last updated: July 9, 2006
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu