University of Maryland Extension

Direct Marketing

Any marketing method whereby farmers sell their products directly to consumers. Examples include roadside stands, farm stands, U-pick operations, community supported agriculture or subscription farming, farmers' markets, etc. Growers who market their products directly to customer usually receive a higher price than those who sell wholesale.


On the Web

  • AcademicInfo   
    Founded in 1998 by Mike Madin, a librarian coordinator, and is now maintained by multiple contributors. It is an online education resource center with extensive subject guides and distance learning information. Their mission is to provide free, independent and accurate information and resources for prospective and current students (and other researchers). (posted 4/4/18)
  • Direct Marketing Business Management Series
    By, Katherine Adam, Radhika Balasubrahmanyan, and Holly Born, NCAT Agriculture Specialists, published 1999.  This publication on direct marketing alternatives—with emphasis on niche, specialty and value-added crops—features many farm case studies, as well as information on enterprise budgets and promotion/publicity. A new section discusses implications of Internet marketing and e-commerce for agriculture. ATTRA Publication #IP113 (posted 4/4/18)
  • Direct Farm Marketing and Tourism Handbook
    By, Russell Tronstad and Julie Leones, This guide is designed to help farm and ranch operators (and other individuals who grow or process food products) market their products and services directly to the consumer. (posted 11/24/20)


  • A Farmer's Guide to Selling at Farmers Market
    By Maryland Farmers Market Association (2017)
    This guide addresses topics ranging from selecting a farmers market to projecting sales, setting up a captivating display, to customer engagement. The use of this guide will enable producers selling through farmers markets to increase their revenue and customer base. (posted 4/4/18)

  • A Marketing Decision Tool and Guide for Grass-fed Beef - EB374
    By Ginger S. Myers, Marketing Specialist, University of Maryland Extension and Director of the Maryland Rural Enterprise Development Center.  This resource guide will assist grass-fed beef producers formulate profitable marketing strategies. It is a decision tool to assist individual producers in making marketing decisions about what to produce; where/how/in what venue(s) outlets to market their product; and practical risk management strategies. View online (PDF) (posted 4/4/18)
  • Farmer's Markets - Marketing and Business Guide (ATTRA)
    By Janet Bachmann, NCAT Agriculture Specialist, Published 2008, Updated 2014
    This publication is a resource for those who want to organize a farmers market, to improve an existing market, or to increase their sales. Digital price: $1.99, Print Price: $4.99, and Kindle Price: $1.99 (posted 4/4/18) 

  • Sampling Permit Regulations by County
    In Maryland, counties regulate how food sampling is conducted in their jurisdiction at local markets and retail outlets. This document lists product sampling regulations in counties that publish this information. Document developed by the University of Maryland Extension, Family Consumer Science Educators. (4/10/18)


  • Decision Tools for Selecting Marketing Outlets
    Webinar is hosted in partnership with Maryland Farmers Market Association and University of Maryland Extension Women in Agriculture Wednesday Webinar
    Presenter: Ginger S. Myers, Marketing Specialist, University of Maryland Extension, Director, Maryland Rural Enterprise Development Center, Principal Agent Associate

  • Super Market Vendor
    Myers will teach you the fundamentals of “relationship marketing” where the customer experiences a value-add connection with you as the producer. This webinar walks you through display techniques, signage, communication using social media, and vital customer service techniques that convert farmers market shoppers into your loyal customers who will shop with you with you rain or shine.

    This webinar is offered in partnership with the University of Maryland Extension Women in Agriculture Wednesday Webinars and the Rural Maryland Council.  Presenter: Ginger S. Myers, Marketing Specialist, University of Maryland Extension, Director, Maryland Rural Enterprise Development Center, Principal Agent Associate


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