Topic:
ADVERTISING; AGRICULTURE (GENERAL);
Location:
AGRICULTURE;

OLR Research Report


July 31, 2008

 

2008-R-0423

STATES' AGRICULTURAL MARKETING

 

By: Joseph Holstead, Associate Analyst

You asked for a description of state agricultural marketing efforts in Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. This report updates the marketing portion of OLR report 2002-R-0568.

SUMMARY

Each of the above states has a dedicated marketing arm in its agriculture department or division and undertakes similar efforts in providing branding logos and marketing material for state agricultural products (e.g., “Connecticut Grown”) and marketing the products to local (in-state consumers, schools, and restaurants), national, and international markets. The states' agricultural departments or division web sites feature a wealth of information, including several with web pages that allow a consumer to search for fresh foods or farm stands, for example, by product or location.

Regarding state branding logos, New Jersey's “Jersey Fresh” branding program was one of the first, if not the first, in the nation and has been a national model, according to Rick Macsuga of the Connecticut agriculture department's Bureau of Agriculture Development and Resource Preservation. New Jersey's program began in 1983 to help farmers inform consumers about the availability and variety of fruits and vegetables grown in New Jersey. It and other states' programs include a logo and marketing materials, he said.

Each state, except for Maryland and West Virginia, participates in the Food Export USA - Northeast partnership, which is a non-profit organization working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that promotes the export of food and agricultural products (Maryland and West Virginia belong to the southern regional version). There is also cooperative marketing program in which New England states participate called “Harvest New England” (see below).

Naturally, there are some areas that each state highlights or approaches differently, according to the respective web sites. For example, Massachusetts features a signage program on its web site, among other initiatives, while larger producing states such as Pennsylvania and Maryland have dedicated international marketing specialists, and more information available online.

Before providing further information about marketing efforts and to provide context, table 1 below from the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) shows the market value of agricultural products sold for the states addressed in this report, beginning with the most recent census data available, from 2002, to 1987. (USDA will release 2007 Census data February 4, 2009.)

Table 1: Market Value of Agricultural Products Sold ($1,000)

Historical Highlights, 2002 and Earlier Census Years

Source: Census, US - State Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)

Geographic Area

All Farms

2002 

($1,000)

1997 ($1,000)

*1997 ($1,000)

*1992 ($1,000)

*1987 ($1,000)

Pennsylvania

Agricultural products sold market value

4,256,959

4,247,568

3,997,565

3,570,191

3,077,523

New York

Agricultural products sold market value

3,117,834

2,930,569

2,834,512

2,622,001

2,441,860

Maryland

Agricultural products sold market value

1,293,303

1,371,374

1,312,086

1,169,331

989,061

New Jersey

Agricultural products sold market value

749,872

707,161

697,380

532,988

496,003

Delaware

Agricultural products sold market value

618,853

767,254

690,794

559,766

443,575

West Virginia

Agricultural products sold market value

482,814

459,387

447,428

364,203

270,639

Vermont

Agricultural products sold market value

473,065

478,781

476,343

415,253

375,537

Connecticut

Agricultural products sold market value

470,637

434,970

421,648

336,983

357,702

Maine

Agricultural products sold market value

463,603

450,278

438,673

430,324

405,484

Massachusetts

Agricultural products sold market value

384,314

483,529

454,404

350,639

340,464

New Hampshire

Agricultural products sold market value

144,835

155,698

149,467

114,070

107,102

Rhode Island

Agricultural products sold market value

55,546

51,133

48,200

39,512

37,786

*not adjusted for coverage; 1997 repeated as “not adjusted for coverage” to illustrate the difference. That is, the method of collecting information has improved over time. Click the following link for more information: http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Help/FAQs/2002_Census/index2.asp#1

To search NASS' national database, click on the following link: http://www.nass.usda.gov/Census/Create_Census_US.jsp

To see how New England ranked nationally in various categories in 2006, click the following link: http://www.nass.usda.gov/nh/2006NEngRank.pdf

FOOD EXPORT USA - NORTHEAST AND HARVEST NEW ENGLAND

Food Export USA

The nonprofit Food Export USA - Northeast has assisted northeast food and agricultural product exporters to sell overseas since 1973 with the aid of the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service.

For example, USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service administers a Market Access Program (M.A.P.) in conjunction with the states' agriculture departments. Through the Food Export USA – Northeast partnership, USDA provides funds to finance promotional activities in specific foreign markets. Companies that participate in M.A.P. receive a 50% reimbursement for eligible advertising expenses, promotional expenses, and trade show expenses, based on a pre-approved application.

Food Export USA-Northeast is one of four state regional trade groups that assist companies with export promotion. Three other regional groups, Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA), Western United States Trade Association, and the Food Export Association of the Midwest USA (formerly MIATCO) provide similar services for companies based or sourcing products from outside of the Food Export USA 10-state northeast region, according to Food Export USA's web site, which is available by clicking the following link: http://www.foodexportusa.org/who_we_are/index.htm

Harvest New England

Harvest New England is a cooperative marketing program created by New England's state departments of agriculture in 1992. (The Harvest New England Association, Inc. is a non-profit corporation registered with the states of Vermont and New Hampshire.) The initial purpose of the program was to support the sale of New England-grown produce through supermarket channels and to make it easier for New Englanders to identify certain locally produced food and agricultural products in local supermarkets. The program was subsequently opened to all New England food and agricultural products for the same purpose, according to its website, which is available by clicking the following link: http://www.harvestnewengland.org/.

CONNECTICUT

 Connecticut's Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Agriculture Development and Resource Preservation assists people to diversify and expand their agricultural businesses. It runs the department's branding logo and marketing program, “Connecticut Grown.”

The department's duties include assisting Connecticut producers to export products and it offers many programs to help farmers determine if exporting is makes sense.  The programs are offered in conjunction with Food Export USA – Northeast. More information is available by clicking the following link: http://www.ct.gov/doag/cwp/view.asp?a=3243&q=398050.

The department also runs a Regional Market, which is a statutorily authorized facility located at 101 Reserve Road in Hartford (CGS § 22-62 et seq). The market provides a central location for farmers and wholesalers to sell and distribute food and other agricultural products. The market contains 230,386 square feet of warehouse space, has an active railroad spur and 144 stalls in the farmers' market portion, according to the department's web site. More information is available at the following web page: http://www.ct.gov/doag/cwp/view.asp?a=1370&q=259160.

Connecticut Grown

 

The “Connecticut Grown” Program is an initiative to (1) increase the demand for Connecticut products from in- and outside the region; (2) increase Connecticut product sales and value, direct sales, farm numbers and production to ensure supply and demand balance; (3) diversify farm products and farm use capabilities and enhance CT Grown logo visibility; and (4) improve and provide quality assurance and educate consumers. The program's objectives include pinpointing Connecticut's agricultural strengths with respect to its economy and geographic location. The department's web site (http://www.ct.gov/doag/ ) can also be accessed with this brand logo at www.CTGrown.gov.

 

The program also aims to educate and inform consumers concerning Connecticut farm products and methods of production, establish criteria and information to enable existing agribusiness to expand their operations, according to the program's web page: http://www.ct.gov/doag/cwp/view.asp?a=3260&q=398984.

Connecticut Grown – The Local Flavor Marketing Campaign. In May 2007, the department launched the “Connecticut Grown - The Local Flavor” marketing campaign to complement existing efforts with one time funds under PA 06-186.  The campaign's goal was to increase awareness of the Connecticut Grown logo, the availability of local products, and the importance of supporting local agriculture and its contribution to Connecticut's economy. The department created a number of promotional items and advertisements and made them available to farmers and producers free of charge.

The mass marketing included posters, billboards, bus signs, as well as radio advertisements that aired from July to October 2007 and television ads that run from May to August 2007. The Connecticut Grown logo carries on the campaign with “the local flavor” running at its bottom.

Farmstand and Store brochure. This July, the department published its first ever brochure describing the location of Farm Stands and Stores throughout Connecticut. It includes over 120 on-farm retail outlets for Connecticut Grown items from fruits and vegetables to meats, dairy products, cut flowers, garden plants.  According to the department's July 18, 2008, press release: “…the pamphlet lists venues by county and provides product availability information through easy-to-use, at-a-glance product abbreviations.  Other information listed includes farm stand location; seasons and hours of operation; and contact information including phone number, email, and website information, if applicable.”

The department is distributing the brochure to all town halls, libraries across the state, county extension and USDA offices, and to Connecticut welcome centers along Interstates 95 and 84, according to the release.  It also is available electronically by clicking the following link: http://www.ct.gov/doag/lib/doag/marketing_files/2008_farm_stands_and_stores_brochure_web.pdf

2008 Legislative Changes to Connecticut Grown. PA 08-13 expands the applicable definition of farm products to include all those resulting from the practice of farming or agriculture, and “Connecticut Grown” to include all farm products that have a traceable origin in Connecticut. By law, agriculture and farming include the cultivation of the soil, dairying, foresting, raising, or harvesting of any agricultural or horticultural product, including (1) any fresh fruit, vegetables, mushrooms, nuts, shell eggs, honey or other bee products, maple syrup or maple sugar, flowers, nursery stock, and other horticultural commodities; (2) livestock food products, including meat, milk, cheese, or other dairy products; (3) aquaculture products, such as fish, oysters, clams, mussels, and other molluscan shellfish taken from state waters or wetlands; (4) products from any tree, vine, or plant and its flowers; and (5) any of the products listed above that the participating farmer baked or otherwise processed.

Under prior law, proof of native, native-grown, local, locally grown, or Connecticut-grown product verification claims had to be submitted at the commissioner's request, and anyone violating these provisions was subject to a fine of up to $25. The act specifies that the proof must be submitted within 10 days and in written form, allows the commissioner's designee to request such verification, and sets the fine for each product label violation.

DELAWARE

Delaware's Department of Agriculture's has a dedicated marketing team that works to enhance the economic viability and growth of Delaware's agriculture. It does so by promoting and advertising the competitive features and advantages of its agricultural products “through local, regional, national and international accounts, cooperatives, trade shows, wholesalers, retailers, distributors, processors, manufacturers, state institutions and other partnerships,” according to its web site.

Grown Fresh with Care in Delaware

As part of its marketing effort, the department recently developed a branded program, the first in Delaware history, which is similar to the “Jersey Fresh” or “Connecticut Grown” label. According to the site, the brand, “Grown Fresh with Care in Delaware,” provides Delaware farmers with a way to identify their produce and vegetables. The program provides a guarantee of freshness because products are supplied to supermarkets within 48 hours of being picked at the farm.

The department also promotes agritourism, featuring activities at different farms including rodeo riding, a corn maze, and experiencing medieval farm life. Click here for more on Delaware's agritourism: http://www.defunonthefarm.org/home/ .

In addition, the department's web site also features a farmers' market and farm-stand location tool. Any visitor to the website can search by market location, product, and county. The web site also features an availability chart for various fruits and vegetables, a calendar of agricultural events, and a consumer food safety tips. The department also offers a brochure of agritourism and farmers' markets locations.

MAINE

The Market and Production Development Division of Maine's Department of Agriculture provides Maine farmers and producers technical production, marketing, financial assistance, and statistical reports, and holds various promotional events. It also provides information to the agriculture commissioner, legislature, media, commodity groups, and individuals on issues affecting farm businesses and agriculture in Maine. Its brand logo and marketing program is “Get real. Get Maine!”

Get Real. Get Maine!

Like other states, Maine's department ties promotional activities with its logo to encourage greater consumption of Maine agricultural products. Part of the marketing program is a web site featuring searchable pages for various products such as apples, berries, specialty foods and other farm product listings; “pick your own” farms; farmers markets; farm stands; Maine Maple Sunday and maple syrup information, wholesale and commercial buyer information, restaurants and recipes, and related marketing information. Click on the following link for more information: http://www.getrealmaine.com/

International Marketing

The division helps Maine producers and manufacturers identify opportunities to increase sales of products overseas and improve business and farm incomes, using Food Export USA' services in conjunction with USDA. More information is available by clicking the following link: http://www.maine.gov/agriculture/mpd/export/index.html.

Maine's Agricultural Creative Economy Study

Based on a 2007 legislative resolution, “Resolve, To Study Maine's Agricultural Creative Economy Sector,” the department completed a report on agriculture and marketing. For the first time in the state, the report estimated the size of Maine's agricultural sector to include farmers who direct market their products to consumers, high-end restaurants, and institutions. For the report, the department also conducted the first market analysis of consumer trends in buying local farm products based on research, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews of consumers, farmers and other interested parties, according to a January 23, 2008 letter describing the report from Maine's agriculture commissioner to the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

The report describes the “creative economy” sector as comprised of creative enterprises, including commercial, non-profit and individuals who together provide a significant contribution to local and regional economies. Maine's Agricultural Creative Economy Sector (ACES) includes a growing population of consumers who want fresh local produce, meats, and other specialty food products, and the community of farmers who modify their operations and products to serve them, according to the report's executive summary.

The summary says that ACES includes approximately 15% of Maine's farmers and represents an estimated $75 million in sales of agricultural and agritourism products. This sector is very important to small and medium-size farms and food processors who have limited access to farmland or other resources (natural, financial, educational) and that rely on adding value to their raw product to increase their profitability.

To view the commissioner's letter and the rest of the report, click on or visit the following link: http://www.maine.gov/agriculture/mpd/information/agcreative.pdf

MARYLAND

Maryland has a dedicated marketing division with a national and international unit, a state brand logo program, agritourism offerings, and a state brand, similar to other states. It also features an aquaculture and seafood marketing office. According to its web site, the principle role of the marketing division of Maryland's Agriculture Department is to identify and develop profitable opportunities by marketing state farm products to local, national, and international customers. The division also serves as a conduit for federal resources and for policy information specific to the agricultural sector.

Maryland's Best

Its brand, Maryland's BestŪ, includes direct-from-the-farm products (e.g., poultry, ornamental plants, dairy products, grain) and processed or value-added products (e.g., ice cream, bread, candy, snack foods).  In 2007, nearly 300 farmers participated in 82 farmers' markets across the state, and others supplied products to dozens of grocery chains, restaurants, and garden centers.  Additionally, the National Marketing unit hosted numerous events to introduce producers to wholesale buyers and to educate producers about new opportunities for profitable business, according to the web site: http://www.mda.state.md.us/md_products/md_products.php.

National and International Marketing Efforts

The department's national marketing unit helps farmers and agricultural producers market their products directly to supermarkets, hotels, food service businesses, and other wholesale buyers and to consumers.  Its services fall into four major categories:

1. identifying and promoting products of the state brand, Maryland's BestŪ, through advertising promotional activities, farmers' markets, and trade shows,

2. establishing and expanding mutually profitable relationships between producers and buyers,

3. educating producers about changing market conditions and opportunities, and

4. developing policies and resources to improve the business climate for agricultural producers.

The department's international marketing program helps Maryland's farmers and producers find international buyers for products such as grains, value-added and processed foods, livestock (including horses), semen and embryos, and nursery products, according to the web site. The department's international marketing specialists work closely with USDA staff at embassies worldwide and with other organizations to facilitate exports of Maryland products to more than 35 countries, according to its web site, which is available by clicking the following link: http://www.mda.state.md.us/md_products/international_marketing/index.php

Emerging Opportunities

The department's marketing division also promoted initiatives to address emerging opportunities (e.g., bio-diesel, wine, and aged raw-milk cheese) and worked with other state and local government agencies to address regulatory issues affecting agricultural producers. Maryland's Renewable Fuels Promotion Act of 2005, for example, created the Renewable Fuels Incentive Board, which is designed to attract investment in the bio-fuels industry and to offer farmers additional market opportunities for their small grains and soybeans.

MASSACHUSETTS

The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources' Bureau of Markets promotes the viability and sustainability of Massachusetts' food and agricultural businesses through marketing and educational activities, according to its web site, which is available by clicking the following link: http://www.mass.gov/agr/markets/index.htm.

The Bureau of Markets' marketing efforts are similar to those in other states concerning branding and agritourism, with some additional undertakings. For example, regarding agritourism, the bureau, in cooperation with University of Massachusetts Extension and Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT), holds agritourism seminars to teach farmers about tourism as a way to expand and diversify their operations. The bureau also manages the Agricultural Directional Signage Program in cooperation with the Massachusetts Highway Department and in collaboration with MOTT. The signage program allows agricultural directional signs to be placed along state roadways for nearby farms.

MASSGROWN

The department has a MASSGROWN web page that currently features blueberries (“Get Fresh with MassGrown Berries”) and has consumer resource links to various activities and products (e.g., aquaculture, agritourism, culinary tourism, cheese, and pick-your-own farms). The feature changes with the season; to view the homepage, click the following link; http://www.mass.gov/agr/massgrown/.

As part of the MASSGROWN campaign, the department promotes two additional slogans; "Massachusetts Grown…and Fresher!" and “Massachusetts Made with Pride.” The department uses these two slogans to further identify and promote Massachusetts grown and produced products. It is part of the department's ongoing initiative to increase the demand for Massachusetts products both in the state and region.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

The New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Foods' mission is to promote agriculture in the public interest and to serve farmers and consumers in the marketplace, according to the department's web site: http://www.nh.gov/agric/.

The department's Division of Agricultural Development works to bring producers and consumers together in the marketplace through promotional initiatives and marketing programs, according to its web site. Its efforts include trade show opportunities, events, media outreach and networking to encourage agricultural businesses' development and strengthen the marketing environment for agricultural products. The division works closely with producer organizations to execute joint industry promotions, and maintains frequent contact with the media to help the public better understand the state's agricultural industry, according to its web page, which is viewable by clicking on the following link: http://www.nh.gov/agric/divisions/agricultural_development/index.htm

New Hampshire Made Program Tied to All State Products

New Hampshire ties its agricultural branding to the state's overall New Hampshire marketing effort for all state products. According to its web site, “ 'New Hampshire Made' is the official statewide marketing organization whose mission is to increase the awareness of, and demand for, New Hampshire-made products and services through the power of a 'New Hampshire's Own' brand identity program. This program promotes the quality, variety and availability of these products and services statewide.” The program features a logo with “New Hampshire's Own…A Product of Yankee Pride.” More information is available at the web site (click the following): http://www.nhmade.com/programsandservices.cfm.

International Marketing

To market its products internationally, the department participates with Food Export USA-Northeast and also partners with the state's Office of International Commerce and the International Trade Resource Center to promote exporting opportunities and educational seminars to help companies become export-ready. 

NEW JERSEY

New Jersey's Department of Agriculture's Division of Marketing and Development markets and promotes the department's branding programs, provides regulatory and service programs to the agricultural community, and coordinates the state's equine program.

Jersey Fresh

Jersey Fresh…” is the state's overall brand marketing logo program. The state started its branding program in 1983. In 2005, the division updated the overall brand to: "Jersey Fresh - as Fresh as Fresh Gets.” Under this umbrella brand is the (1) “Jersey Grown, as Green as it Gets” brand for land based products, and (2) “It's a Shore Thing” for seafood. Click the following links for more information respectively on Jersey Grown and seafood: http://www.jerseygrown.nj.gov/ and http://www.jerseyseafood.nj.gov/.

New Jersey has a dedicated web site for its branding program, although unlike New Hampshire's program, New Jersey's is dedicated to only agricultural products, seafood, and the equine industry. The web site features links to web pages describing its agritourism, roadside markets, community farmers' markets, and “what's in season” and recipe offerings, as well as to its specific produce, seafood, and equine marketing programs. To visit the web site, click on the following link: http://www.nj.gov/jerseyfresh/.

There is also a logo for the equine industry.

Equine Program

The division also markets the “Jersey Equine” brand. In fact, June 2008 was equine month in New Jersey, according to its web site, and the equine industry annually generates $1.1 billion and nearly 13,000 jobs. The web site features information from equine rescue and breeding to horse racing. Click the following link for more information: http://www.jerseyequine.nj.gov/

National and International Marketing

In addition to participation in Food Export USA – Northeast, the division's export development program annually supports New Jersey companies at domestic and international trade shows such as the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit, the Canadian Produce Marketing Association Convention, and the Fancy Food Show in New York. Through participation in these and similar international expositions, New Jersey companies can gain direct access to potential domestic and foreign buyers, according to the web site.

NEW YORK

The New York Department of Agriculture and Markets' Division of Agriculture Protection and Development Services facilitates and promotes the direct marketing of state agricultural products from producers to consumers and wholesale buyers through technical assistance, grant financing, and publications, according to its web site.

The department's multi-faceted “Grow New York” program assists the economic development of New York's agricultural production, processing and marketing industries. It focuses on environmental stewardship, quality assurance, market enhancement, business and workforce development, funding opportunities, tax savings and protection, and the “Pride of New York” program.

Pride of New York

Under the “Grow New York umbrella,” the department developed “The Pride of New York” program to promote and support the sale of agricultural products grown and food products processed within New York State. The program's membership includes farmers and processors, retailers, distributors, restaurants, and related culinary and support associations. The program has a dedicated web site, http://www.prideofny.com/pride_index.html#, which features information on various marketing efforts Click the following link to see, for example, the department's outdoor advertisements: http://www.prideofny.com/outdoorads.html.

The Department also publishes the "Farm Fresh Guide," a bi-annual directory available in print and on the web that lists and describes farm stands, “u-pick” operations, and other direct marketing outlets throughout the state. New York is not unique in this approach, but it features the information more prominently and detailed on its website.

Domestic and International Marketing Efforts

For domestic marketing, the department assists farmers and producers to obtain national representation for their products by actively participating in and providing New York pavilions at numerous trade shows and other promotional events throughout the country.

In the international marketplace, the department provides buyers with information about sourcing products from New York State. The department also disseminates trade leads to New York companies, conducts market research and development activities, and fosters communication between industry and USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service, according to the web site. More information is available by clicking on the following link: http://www.agmkt.state.ny.us/GROWNY/market.html.

PENNSYLVANIA

Agriculture is Pennsylvania's leading industry and its Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Market Development works to expand Pennsylvania farmers' and producers' markets. The bureau features a branding program, “Pennsylvania Preferred,” similar to other states. The bureau is composed of four divisions: Domestic and International Business Development, Commodity Promotion and Risk Management, Livestock Marketing and Grading, and Pennsylvania Fairs. (The bureau also cooperates with the Pennsylvania Hardwoods Development Council.)

Pennsylvania Preferred

“Pennsylvania Preferred” is the department's program designed to identify locally sourced Pennsylvania products and help consumers find them. It is the agriculture department's umbrella branding and marketing program. The web site features in season products, recipes, and agritourism information, all of which are part of the marketing effort, similar to other states. Click the following link for more information: http://www.agriculture.state.pa.us/papreferred/site/default.asp.

As part of the Pennsylvania preferred program, the department promotes produce with the logo: “Simply Delicious . . . Simply Nutritious.” It is an ongoing marketing campaign to raise awareness about the quality of Pennsylvania's fresh fruits and vegetables in-season.  The department uses billboard and television advertising campaigns, point-of-sale materials, and public relations activities to increase interest, according to the web site. For more information, click the following link: http://www.agriculture.state.pa.us/agriculture/cwp/view.asp?q=128586

Domestic and International Business Development Division

 

According to the department's website, Pennsylvania has the largest and most aggressive trade development program for agriculture products in the Northeastern U.S. The Domestic and International Business Development Division promotes Pennsylvania's quality, agricultural products, including food and hardwoods, around the world. The division offers trade programs designed to help companies respond to international market opportunities, either through direct export sales or investment initiatives. 

The division has three export development resources to assist Pennsylvania agribusinesses, the: (1) International Users Guide to Pennsylvania, available in English, Spanish and Korean versions, (2) Export Guide for Pennsylvania Agriculture to help businesses identify export opportunities for Pennsylvania agriculture; and (3) Agriculture Products – Legal Aspects in the Global Marketplace publication. 

As of 2006, the top five Pennsylvania agriculture export destinations were Canada, Mexico, China, UK, and Costa Rica, according to the web site and to provide an idea about the reach of Pennsylvania's marketing.

The department also initiated the Food Marketing Cooperative of Pennsylvania to assist food manufacturers who are interested in exporting or expanding their sales domestically, but do not, individually, have the financial resources, time or marketing skills to do so.  The Cooperative helps members pool their resources to achieve common goals.  Any Pennsylvania based food company is eligible to join.  Members stipulate which products and in which markets they want the cooperative to represent them.  More information is available at the following website: http://www.foodmarketingcoop.com.

Commodity Promotion and Risk Management

The bureau cooperates closely with Pennsylvania's commodity marketing and research programs, created under the Agricultural Commodities Marketing Act (ACMA), to enable farmers to increase sales, identify new markets, and conduct valuable product research (3 Pa.C.S. §§ 4501—4513). ACMA provides a means for Pennsylvania farmers to provide funds to research and promote their products, without public funding, through the use of a production check-off system. The bureau works toward several objectives, including to administer the:

1. various Pennsylvania producer commodity programs for apples, dairy products, peaches and nectarines, potatoes, vegetables and wine and

2. statewide Pennsylvania Crop Insurance Education and Participation Program in cooperation with the Federal Risk Management Agency to educate farmers about the benefits of crop insurance.

 

Livestock Marketing and Grading Division

This division assists livestock producers market their animals. It does so by supplying timely information on livestock prices, trends, and news through a variety of media in the state. It also report accurate and timely bid quote information for the Pennsylvania Grain and Hay Market Report and provides livestock grading services using USDA standards.

 

The division reports on 14 livestock auctions each week. In season, it publishes a weekly price report on Pennsylvania grown fruits and vegetables according to wholesale pricing. Click the following link for more on the division: http://www.agriculture.state.pa.us/agriculture/cwp/view.asp?a=3&q=128481

Pennsylvania Fairs Division

Pennsylvania Fairs program promotes public awareness of Pennsylvania agriculture as a vital economic sector of the state's economy. The program provides financial and consumer educational assistance to more than 100 county fairs, county 4-H programs, county Future Farmers of America programs, and Pennsylvania agricultural organizations. Funding is provided through the Pennsylvania Agricultural Fair Act (Act 92 of 1986), according to the web site: http://www.agriculture.state.pa.us/agriculture/cwp/view.asp?a=3&q=128488.

RHODE ISLAND

Rhode Island's Division of Agriculture is part of its Department of Environmental Management. The division has an Agriculture Marketing and Promotion Unit, which promotes Rhode Island grown products. Its branding logo is “Farm Fresh Rhode Island.”

Farm Fresh Rhode Island

Farm Fresh Rhode Island's overarching program strategy, as with other states, is to link local farmers and buyers. The Farm Fresh web site has a searchable database for learning about fresh foods, farms and markets in the Rhode Island region. Farmers can update the information about what they are growing and how they sell. Consumers and businesses can find out what is in season and how to get it. The database is constantly being updated with new farms, photos and markets to ensure it is an accurate and comprehensive tool for finding local food, according to the website: http://www.farmfreshri.org/about/about.php

State farmers and producers use the “Buy Local Tomato” logo, which is part of the Farm Fresh Rhode Island program. Products with the seal are available at area farmers' markets, farmstands, restaurants, schools, groceries and caterers that offer foods “fresh from the fields and waters of the Ocean State.”

WEST VIRGINIA

The state's Department of Agriculture has a Marketing and Development Division. The division is a multi-disciplinary and is responsible for the promotion of West Virginia agricultural products and commodities, economic development, and the operation of state owned farms. The division has food distribution and a livestock sections. It also oversees the department's “West Virginia Grown” program.

West Virginia Grown

The state's marketing brand logo is “West Virginia Grown” and the department's “West Virginia Grown” web site features a directory called Foods & Things. The department designed the directory to serve as a quick reference guide for consumers, retailers, and tourists to aid in the purchasing of West Virginia products. The directory has participating “West Virginia Grown” and other specialty goods producers. Participants in the “West Virginia Grown” program have met criteria that designate them as an official state-produced or in-state value-added producer that is headquartered in the state and contributes to the West Virginia economy through its employment, manufacturing, packaging, purchasing, marketing and conducting its business within the state, according to the web site, which is available by clicking the following link: http://www.wvagriculture.org/Foods_and_Things.htm.

Division's Sections

The Food Distribution Section works with the USDA to provide economic support through food distribution to West Virginia Child Nutrition Programs and qualified Recipient Agencies that serve low-income and needy families in West Virginia.

The Livestock Section promotes West Virginia produced livestock. The staff provides technical expertise in marketing to farmers in marketing groups located around the state. Staff also provide numerous services to farmers and citizens through the state including grading feeder calf sales, performing grading demonstrations, and providing input and discussions on the development of bio-security, “agro-terrorism,” according to the web site: http://www.wvagriculture.org/Division_Webpages/marketing-livestock.htm

JH:ts