A sample of the DOT survey taken at the USDA Farmers Market in 2010. Here, shoppers were able to indicate what products they purchased at the market.
In business, location means everything. Not only do businesses need to understand where their customer base exists, but they also need to know where their competitors are. The same applies to farmers markets: they must understand their customers and competition to determine the potential for profit. The location of a farmers market can influence a vendor or customer’s decision to support a particular market. Read more »
A screenshot from the electronic grading system showing USDA Choice, Yield Grade 2 beef. The left is the natural color view of the cut; the right is the instrument enhanced view that details the amount of marbling, size, and fat thickness. Beef grading is a complex and detailed process, requiring graders to think and calculate quickly with great accuracy. Using technology to compliment and supplement the onsite human graders generates an efficient and more precise process.
The USDA Choice and USDA Prime grade shields are highly regarded, both domestically and internationally, as symbols of high-quality American beef. Cattle producers and feeders increasingly rely on USDA grades to determine payments for their cattle—a vital link to supporting and sustaining rural America. Read more »
In business, it’s important to trust . . . but also to verify. Whether you want to buy or sell U.S. produce, it can sometimes be tricky deciding who to deal with and verifying their credentials. When it comes time to make a move, The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) division can help.
PACA facilitates fair trading practices in the marketing of fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables in interstate and foreign commerce thereby ensuring that dealers get what they pay for and also get paid for what they sell—even if customers go out of business, declare bankruptcy, or refuse to pay for produce received. Read more »
When it comes to expanding market share, increasing revenue and getting the word out about a great product or commodity, checkoff programs prove that there’s strength in numbers. Officially called research and promotion programs, checkoff programs give agricultural producers, importers and other stakeholders in the marketing chain the power to maximize resources while managing risk.
The strategy for increasing or expanding commodity markets takes more cooperation within the industry than competition between individual farms and businesses. Consumers may not know exactly which farm grows or raises their fruit, beef, cotton or lumber, but they will decide what to buy based on knowledge, quality and availability.
The consumer’s perspective that there is a general uniformity to some commodities serves as the catalyst for many individual farms and businesses to collaborate on a comprehensive, industry-wide strategy to expand markets. Promoting a commodity as a whole instead of by individual businesses means everyone in the industry benefits through increased sales, consumer awareness and higher overall demand. Read more »
Denim jeans are versatile because you can wear them for almost any occasion, but there are even more ways they can be used outside of your wardrobe.
Cotton. From Blue to Green® transforms used jeans into UltraTouch ™ Denim Insulation for communities in need. This amazing project uses an environmentally responsible process to help jump start rebuilding communities. The program has partnered with many organizations, including Habitat for Humanity affiliates, to install home insulation for victims of disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, and for those needing help to finish their homes. They also offer grants to improve community buildings and partner with college and university campuses to host denim collection drives. Read more »
A screenshot of the Cattle Dashboard. The livestock dashboards allow you to see weekly volume and price information presented in graphs and tables that can be customized for viewing and downloaded for use in reports and presentations.
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service is expanding upon its traditional Market News reports to create interactive dashboards. The dashboards, first launched in the summer of 2010, provide quick, easy access to volume and price information for cattle, hogs, and sheep. Read more »