February 6, 2004
Web site boosts
There is a useful, new Internet tool available to assist producers in finding specialty markets for their products, according to Mary Holz-Clause, director of Iowa State University's Agricultural Marketing Resource Center (AgMRC). Holz-Clause was a presenter at a conference on value-added businesses at the American Farm Bureau Federation's 85th annual meeting.
Hockey great Wayne Gretzky once said, "you miss 100 percent of the shots you never take," according to Holz-Clause. The same can be said of producers wanting to enhance the value of their products, yet fearing the risks involved in action, she continued.
Two years ago, AgMRC created a web site to provide independent producers and processors critical information to build successful value-added agricultural enterprises.
"We are a virtual library of value-added information," said Holz-Clause.
Partnering with Iowa State University, Kansas State University and the University of California, AgMRC collects and interprets information about value-added agriculture for posting on its web site, www.agmrc.org.
AgMRC also works with farm groups and individual producers who have created successful value-added enterprises for information to add to its web site.
A wealth of information can be found on the site, including sections on commodities and products, markets and industries, business development, directories and state resources and general information on AgMRC.
Visitors can walk through the process of establishing a business, learn about state laws pertaining to value-added enterprises, and view various value-added agriculture sites across the nation.
Since its inception two years ago, the site has tallied approximately 3 million have occurred since September 2003.
For producers willing to take the risk to carve out their own place in a specialty market, AgMRC is ready and available with the resources to assist them. For more information visit www.agmrc.org, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.