Marketing, Adding Value, & Ag Development

Marketing, Adding Value, & Ag Development Research

The following is a sampling of research projects relevant to small business owners. If you have a specific interest that is not addressed here, contact Loren Tauer, Chair, Department of Applied Economics and Management, 607-255-4402,
Click on a title below to navigate to the specific project.

The Foodprints and Foodsheds project is developing tools for evaluating the sustainability of dietary patterns and the geography of the American food system.  In particular, it analyzes the potential of local food systems, considering both the diet and number of people that could be fed with various agricultural resources.  It also estimates the foodprint (the area needed to feed one person) for various diets.  New York State, Michigan, New Mexico, Mississippi have been studied in detail, and the program’s final effort considers all of the adjacent 48 states.Top Impact from Work Thus Far: Researchers concluded that in regions rich in pasture land, animal products should be included in the diet to efficiently feed the most people. Duration: 2009 to 2013Project Leader(s): Gary W. Fick, 607-255-1704, 
Project Partners: Jennifer Wilkins, Christian Peters, Arthur Lembo
Potential Benefits for Small Farms: The project results identify regions where there is potential to develop and expand local food systems.
Funding Source(s): W.K. Kellogg Foundation
For more Information:


This project applies information about the structure and function of Northeast Farmers Markets in order to evaluate their efficiency and identify where changes need to be made. The information contained in this article is intended for general discussion by New York State Farmers Market managers and vendors. It includes an overview of NYS Farmers Markets and in-depth analyses of the roles of each level of management.Top Impact from Work Thus Far: The often complex, behind-the-scenes workings of Farmers Markets are elucidated for the small farmer 
For more Information:
Duration: Completed in 2007Project Leader(s): Jude Barry; Brian Henehan, 607-255-8800, 
Project Partners: Carol Thomson, 607-255 5464, cmt8@
Potential Benefits for Small Farms: Gain insights for a more productive Farmers Market
Funding Source(s): Department of Applied Economics and Management, NY Farm Viability Institute, Farmers Market Federation of NY State


How much does agriculture affect your local economy? Most of the impact that local producers have on the economy has to do with where they purchase their inputs from, hire the services they use, and sell their outputs. While it is known that purchases and sales strategies by smaller producers often differs from larger commodity based operations,  adequate information at a level that differentiates these behaviors does not currently exist. To better understand how local agricultural producers manage these operations, researchers asked a sample of producers in the Capital District region (i.e., producers in Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, and Washington counties) that sell at least a portion of their products to local (regional) buyers to complete a short questionnaire about these activities. Detailed sales expenditure data for 2010 was gathered from over 100 farms. The information is being used to assess the economic impacts of local food production in the region, particularly focused on contributions from small- and medium-scale agricultural producers.Top Impact from Work Thus Far: Small and medium scale producers show higher levels of sales and purchases within the Capital District Region. Duration: OngoingProject Leader(s): Todd Schmit, 607-255-3015, 
Project Partners: Becca Jablonski, Yuri Mansury, Capital District Vegetable and Small Fruit Program
Potential Benefits for Small Farms: Better understand economic contributions of small- and medium scale producers to regional economies
Funding Source(s): CALS/CCE Summer Intern Program, Ruth and William Morgan Professorship

Marketing, Adding Value, & Agriculture Development Extension Resources

Cornell Small Farms Program
The Cornell Small Farms Program maintains current resources pertaining to organic marketing, value-added production, wholesale, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), agri-tourism, and direct marketing.  Visit and click on Resources  > Marketing.
Empire State Food and Agricultural Leadership Institute (LEAD NY)
LEAD is an agriculture sector leadership development project that accepts approximately 30 students every other year for a 2-year cohort program. Small farm operators are encouraged to participate. Contact: Larry Van De Valk, Director, LEAD-NY, 607-255-6891,
Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship
The NE Center for Food Entrepreneurship provides comprehensive assistance to beginning and established food entrepreneurs in the areas of business and product process development, product safety, process/product technology transfer and product commercialization. Through the center, entrepreneurs have access to established Cornell facilities such as brewing laboratories and processing plants to test the production of value-added products. Contact: 315-787-2273,, or visit
Smart Marketing Bulletins
This program in the Department of Economics and Management places emphasis on adaptation of new technologies to enhance productivity while maintaining environmental quality and sustainability. Contact: Gerald White, Professor, 607-255-2299 Email: or visit

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