Strengthening Rural Communities: Lessons from a Growing Farm Economy

The Council of Economic Advisers, the White House Rural Council, and the USDA prepared a report that details progress made in the agricultural economy in terms of innovation, exports, clean energy, new industries, and community investment. It accompanies an announcement by the Obama Administration to invest nearly $2 billion by 2016 to help small, rural food businesses expand, modernize, and hire.

http://sustainablefoodnews.com/story.php?news_id=16494

Regional Food Hub Resource Guide

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced the launch of a food hub guide, a new USDA tool to bolster expansion of market opportunities for small and mid-sized U.S. producers. This resource was developed in partnership with the Wallace Center at Winrock International, the National Good Food Network, the National Association of Produce Market Managers, and the Project for Public Spaces, as part of the National Food Hub Collaboration.

http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/usda-food-hub-resource-guide/

Increasing Farm Income and Local Food Access: A case study of a collaborative aggregation, marketing, and distribution strategy that links farmers to markets

A case study, published in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development, on The Intervale Center’s Food Hub in Burlington, Vermont.  The Intervale Food Hub is a collaboration of small and midscale famers that aggregate, market, and distribute local products through a CSA program and wholesale.  The study reviews the Food Hub’s development, outcomes, and farmer and staff perceptions of successes and challenges after three years of operations. 

http://www.agdevjournal.com/current-issue/189-increasing-farm-income-and-local-food-access-a-case-study-of-a-collaborative-aggregation-marketing-and-distribution-strategy.html?catid=78%3Afood-value-chains-papers

Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

The Leopold Center is interested in research and programs that can make agriculture more profitable and keep small and mid-sized farmers on their land. The Leopold Center's Research and Programs webpage includes resources on current available competitive grants; policy, marketing and food systems, ecology initiatives and other projects that the Center is working on.

http://www.leopold.iastate.edu/research/research_programs.htm

Guide To Marketing Channel Selection

This guide on “How to Sell through Wholesale and Direct Marketing Channels” comes from Cornell University’s Tomkins County Cooperative Extension and provides information on successful marketing to small to medium sized fruit and vegetable growers. Topics covered include marketing channel combinations, wholesale buyer expectations, post-harvest handling and tips for building successful relationships with grocery stores and food retailers.

http://ccetompkins.org/sites/all/files/63/guide-to-marketing-channels.pdf

Journal of Food Distribution Research - March 2011

The March 2011 edition of the Journal of Food Distribution Research, published by the Food Distribution Society, includes articles on farm-direct marketing and food sales, consumer perceptions of agriculture products, case studies and risk management training for small farmers.

http://fdrs.tamu.edu/FDRS/JFDR_Online/Entries/2011/3/15_Entry_1_files/JFDR_2011_42_1.pdf