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Agricultural Direct Marketing

USDA's Rural Business-Cooperative Service provided a grant to the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) to develop the Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA). ATTRA, which began operating in 1987, provides information and other technical assistance to farmers, ranchers, extension agents, educators, and others involved in sustainable agriculture in the U.S.

More than 20 NCAT agricultural specialists with diverse backgrounds in livestock, horticulture, soils, organic farming, integrated pest management, and other sustainable agriculture specialties staff the ATTRA project.

ATTRA provides a 36-page publication on Direct Marketing, with information on direct marketing alternatives with emphasis on niche, specialty, and value-added crops. The publication features many farm case studies, as well as information on enterprise budgets and promotion and publicity. A new section discusses implications of Internet marketing and e-commerce for agriculture.

Under its Marketing & Business section, ATTRA provides information about many other strategies a farm may use to remain financially viable, such as evaluating rural enterprises, creating marketing plans, on-farm processing, agricultural tourism, value-added agriculture, organic farm certification, and community supported agriculture.


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