Define Your Markets First
I never met anyone who told me that they got into farming because they enjoyed trying to predict what the Basic Formula Price (BFP) for milk would be six months down the road, or because they got great personal satisfaction from tracking the futures market. Farmers want to farm. They don’t prefer to be marketers. For most farmers, marketing has long been a way to get rid of the commodity they have grown, regardless of the price; the farmer is a “price taker”.
Over the past 50 years, improved production practices have resulted in greater output, but shrinking returns on raw commodities. In agricultural areas on the urban fringe, development pressures have forced farmers to consider alternative and value-added agricultural enterprises to increase their farm gate receipts. Whether pursuing traditional agronomic enterprises or transitioning into agricultural alternatives a consumer-oriented approach to marketing is essential to the success of an enterprise.