Farm Ops Offers Agricultural Marketing Veteran Cohort

Picture v2 jpegMarketing for a farm involves promoting and selling agricultural products by understanding consumer needs, creating a unique brand, setting competitive prices, and using various channels to reach customers. With successful marketing efforts, farmers can build customer loyalty, increase sales, and ensure the farm’s profitability. With so many moving parts to consider, many farmers find creating their farm’s marketing path can be challenging and uncertain.

Farm Ops, Cornell Small Farm’s Veterans in Agriculture project, is hosting a Veteran Farm Marketing Cohort in Fall 2024. This cohort, limited to 10 veterans and their farm partner, will develop marketing plans and strategies with the help of facilitators and through collaboration with the other veteran cohort members. Veterans who complete the cohort milestones will be eligible for funding to support their marketing goals.

Participants must be veterans residing in NYS and actively growing/producing agricultural products and be ready to commit at least 10 hours a week to develop a marketing plan. A current marketing plan is not required, but a need and desire for one is essential.

Facilitators will guide veterans through informational readings/videos, weekly virtual office hours, veteran group sessions, and a comprehensive marketing template, to be refined weekly until the end of 2024. Veterans who meet all milestones can request at least $400 in funding to help implement their marketing plan, with additional funding based on progress.

For those approved to be part of the cohort, the Marketing Veteran Cohort platform opens in September. Weekly live Zoom sessions will be held every Wednesday from October 2nd to November 6th, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. To be eligible to request funding, participants must:

  • Attend 5 of 6 live Zoom sessions,
  • Share part of their marketing plan for group feedback during at least one session,
  • Attend at least 2 facilitator office hours and provide plan updates or seek support,
  • Submit the completed marketing plan by November 13th.

If eligible for funding, work and invoices must be submitted by March 5, 2025. Participants in the Marketing Veteran Cohort will not be eligible for Farm Ops online course scholarships from September 15 to November 15, 2024, and January to March 2025, to ensure focus on the marketing plan.

This application will close on September 1, 2024.  Applicants will be notified by September 13th as to the status of their application.

Nina Saeli

Nina retired from active duty in 2009. She and her husband, Jeffrey, own and operate Centurion Farm in Locke, NY. Nina also now works with the Cornell Small Farms Program as coordinator of our Farm Ops project supporting veterans in agriculture.