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How Do I Market My Meat Products?

Nancy Glazier, Small Farms & Livestock
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

August 30, 2013
How Do I Market My Meat Products?

"Mom, I am headed home now.""Drive safely.""I'm in the Volvo not the Trans Am."
Hmm. You are probably thinking, "What does this have to do with marketing?"  Well, a lot. Your marketing strategy should have a target audience, and not the shotgun approach. You need to brand your product. Volvo has branded themselves as a safe, family car. They may be trying to change the image to be sportier, but it's a tough job. Think about Scotch tape or Kleenex, brands with so much recognition they are household names. These are national examples, so bring it down to the local level. 
Develop your own marketing strategy. Your farm enterprise should be treated like a business. And, like it or not, you need to be a salesman. You will need to toot your own horn. The big question: What sets you apart from the rest of the producers of your product? What claims will your customer care about the most?
To market your product strategically, pick a target customer. That doesn't mean eliminate everyone else along the way; it means your marketing will have a focus. At a recent Strategic Livestock Marketing Workshop 3 types of customers were described: Foodie/locavore enthusiasts; health /social cause-motivated; traditional/value shopper. There's other types, but keep it simple, they are the focus.
  • Foodie/locavore enthusiasts - these food buyers want the best of the best, those premium cuts. These customers are least price sensitive but may not be loyal shoppers.
  • Health /social cause-motivated ?? these buyers are moderately price sensitive. They will shop at farmer's markets, CSAs or freezer trade. They will be moderately loyal with their purchases.
  • Traditional/value shopper - these are the smart shoppers who shop around and then buy in bulk. They are the most price-sensitive and most loyal.
Define your marketing objectives. Think about these points:
  •  How will I stand out from the crowd?
  •  How will I better my position in the marketplace?
  •  How will I carve out my spot?
  •  How will I gain customers?
  •  How will I increase sales?
Keep your message clear and focused for your targeted customer. How do you want to be known? Develop a logo for your enterprise and use it on all marketing material - business cards, brochures, and website.
Fill in the blanks:Our farm raises________________(claims, products) for_______________(target customers) who___________________. (activity, demographics, behavior)
This is a brief overview. I always tell prospective livestock producers to think about the end before they begin. If you'd like to learn more about marketing, let me know and will put together some fall and winter workshops!











calendar of events

Upcoming Events

Dairy Cattle Summer Research Update

July 18, 2019
Batavia, NY

After the day's work is done, come hear about two new research trials conducted by Julio Giordano's lab:
  • Strategies for improving dairy cattle reproductive performance and economics
  • Using automated sensors for improving dairy cattle health monitoring and management

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Weed Resistance Management Demonstration and Plot Tour

Event Offers DEC Credits

July 23, 2019
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Waterloo, NY

Come join us on July 23 in Seneca County at Quinten Good's farm for a demonstration and walking tour of 16 different pre- and post-emergence treatments in soybean and 12 different treatments and combinations in corn.
  • Tall waterhemp and marestail are two weeds that are resistant to glyphosate and ALS herbicide modes of action in the WNY and Finger Lakes regions.
  • Each year the number of acres with resistant weed populations expands.
  • For herbicides to be an effective tool in weed management, we have to know what chemistries & application timings are most effective against these resistant weeds.

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Pasture Walk with the Finger Lakes Graziers

July 29, 2019
12:45 - 4 pm
Waterloo, NY

Join the Finger Lakes Graziers on a pasture walk and learn about soil health. 
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USDA Announces New Decision Tool for New Dairy Margin Coverage Program

WASHINGTON, April 30, 2019 ? Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced today the availability of a new web-based tool - developed in partnership with the University of Wisconsin - to help dairy producers evaluate various scenarios using different coverage levels through the new Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

The 2018 Farm Bill authorized
DMC, a voluntary risk management program that offers financial protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. It replaces the program previously known as the Margin Protection Program for Dairy. Sign up for this USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) program opens on June 17.

"With sign-up for the
DMC program just weeks away, we encourage producers to use this new support tool to help make decisions on participation in the program," Secretary Perdue said. "Dairy producers have faced tough challenges over the years, but the DMC program should help producers better weather the ups and downs in the industry."

The University of Wisconsin launched the decision support tool in cooperation with FSA and funded through a cooperative agreement with the USDA Office of the Chief Economist. The tool was designed to help producers determine the level of coverage under a variety of conditions that will provide them with the strongest financial safety net. It allows farmers to simplify their coverage level selection by combining operation data and other key variables to calculate coverage needs based on price projections.

The decision tool assists producers with calculating total premiums costs and administrative fees associated with participation in
DMC. It also forecasts payments that will be made during the coverage year.

The new Dairy Margin Coverage program offers very appealing options for all dairy farmers to reduce their net income risk due to volatility in milk or feed prices," said Dr. Mark Stephenson, Director of Dairy Policy Analysis, University of Wisconsin, Madison. "Higher coverage levels, monthly payments, and more flexible production coverage options are especially helpful for the sizable majority of farms who can cover much of their milk production with the new five million pound maximum for Tier 1 premiums. This program deserves the careful consideration of all dairy farmers."

For more information, access the tool at For
DMC sign up, eligibility and related program information, visit or contact your local USDA Service Center. To locate your local FSA office, visit

New Guidance for Mortality Disposal Issued

NYS Department of Ag and Markets has posted guidelines on disposal of livestock carcasses, in response to reports that some rendering companies have halted pickups from farms.|1