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Diversification Ideas

Bowling Green, a successful Howard County dairy farm, has begun producing cheese from their milk and locally sourced products

Diversifying your farm is a great option to help many existing Howard County farmers grow their business. With more people taking an increased interest in where their food comes from, and wanting the best and the freshest available, there has never been a better time to consider diversification.

So whether you decide to open your farm to the public for tours or pick your own programs, or you just want to add value added processing to you mix, odds are there is a great opportunity to start a new program on your farm.

 

 

 

Examples:

Agri-Tourism: 

If you enjoy working with people and entertaining than adding an agritourism element to your farm may be for you!  The advantage of adding agritourism is you can have events as many or few times a year as works best for your farming operation.

  • Corn Maze
  • Petting Farm
  • Farm Tours
  • Farm Stays
 

 

Value Added Processing: 

Although some aspects of value added processing might mean opening your farm up to the public, it isn't a requirement.  It is more about taking products that you already produce on your farm and turning it into something else.  Like milk into ice cream or grapes into jelly or tomatoes into salsa.  Then finding out a way to market that product.

  • Meat Processing on Farms
  • Production of canned goods
  • Production of honey
  • Production of bread
  • Winery
  • On Farm Microbrewery
 

 

Pick Your Own: 

This is an opportunity to not only show case your farm and your growing techniques but also educate the consumer on how wonderful locally grown food is for them.  Working with the public is a must and the opportunity can offer a quick growth when marketed well.

  • Pumpkins
  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Vegetables
  • Herbs
  • Flowers
  • Christmas Trees
 

 

CSA (Community Supported Agriculture): 

Teaching the consumer about the importance of locally grown and how a consumer can include diverse foods into their diets is one aspect of CSA's.  It offers an opportunity to grow a variety of products, while pick up can be on the farm or at an off farm location.

 

 

Solar or Wind Energy Collection:

A few Howard County farms are experimenting with these energy sources. Contact us for more information. 

 

Grants and Financing

A resource to find out more information on State, Regional, and National loans and grants for farms.

Diversification Ideas

Don't put all of your eggs in one basket. Diversifying your farm's production is a great way to grow your business - and meet increasing consumer demand for fresh foods.