Completed Project Report


Enhancing Tennessee Small-scale Fruit and Vegetable Farms’ Ability to Manage Marketing and Financial Risks

  • Award Amount: $49,034
  • Regional Center: Southern Extension Risk Management Education Center
  • Grant Program: 2016 Education Projects
  • Project Director: Margarita Velandia
  • Email: mvelandia@utk.edu
  • Organization: University of Tennessee

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Project Overview

The project addressed unique marketing and financial risks faced by small-scale fruit and vegetable producers selling produce through direct-to-consumer outlets. A total of 146 Tennessee fruit and vegetable producers with gross sales of less than $50,000 per year received training through five workshops on how to adapt available educational materials (e.g., Veggie Compass Whole Farm Profit Management, farmers markets price reports, enterprise budgets) to their specific operation conditions and how to use these materials to price products, determine sale volumes, calculate and track expenses, and evaluate farm profitability. Upon workshop completion, four selected producers received one-on-one assistance in using tools to price products, determine sales volumes, evaluate farm profitability, and develop business plans. According to the follow-up evaluation survey results (i.e., only 20 out of 146 participants completed this survey), six months after training activities, 14 participants took steps to better manage marketing and financial risk and four begun a business plan to evaluate profitability when selling produce through direct-to-consumer outlets. Additionally, about 17 producers that received training through workshops believe improvement in performance and profitability of their farm businesses in the next few years have to do with the information they received at the workshops. The low numbers of growers taking steps to better manage marketing and financial risk simply reflect the low response rate of our follow-up evaluation survey due to the fact that this survey was conducted at the end of the growing season because of the project timeline. If we used survey results to estimate the number of growers who actually took steps to better manage marketing and financial risk six months after training then we can say that is expected that about 102 producers took steps to better manage marketing and financial risk. Also, based on survey results, we can estimate that about 124 of the growers who attended trainings believe that improvement in performance and profitability of their farm businesses in the next few years have to do with the information they received at the workshops.

Number of Participants: 146

Results

Project Steps

PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS

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EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS

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REPORTS & EVALUATIONS

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DELIVERY AREA

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