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A Guide for Small & Direct Marketing Farms in Idaho

Agriculture is central to Idaho’s heritage, culture, and economy. There are nearly 25,000 farms and ranches across the state producing a diverse array of agricultural products including produce, meat, and value-added goods. More than 70% of Idaho’s farms and ranches are less than 180 acres and the number of farms and ranches that are less than ten acres continues to grow rapidly. These small producers are meeting the increasing consumer demand for fresh, local, and seasonal agricultural products and contributing to healthy and vibrant local economies. According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, over 75% of Idaho farms and ranches have annual sales of less than $50,000 and for many of these small farms and ranches the ability to sell their products direct-to-consumers and through intermediated markets is key to the success of their operation. Small farms and ranches operate within evolving market and regulatory landscapes. New, beginning, and experienced producers alike need up-to-date and state specific guidance to help them successfully navigate the demands and regulations of selling agricultural products.

Cultivating Your Business™ is intended to help you successfully operate a farm or ranch business and sell agricultural products in the state of Idaho. This guide is a collaboration of the University of Idaho Extension and the Idaho State Department of Agriculture.  The guide provides producers with information, resources, and guidance to support the success of small and direct marketing farms and ranches. Topics include: starting and operating a farm or ranch business, direct marketing strategies, selling specific products, food safety, and marketing and voluntary labels. Cultivating Your Business™ is organized as a series of fact sheets allowing you to easily find and access the information relevant to your operation in one convenient place. Each fact sheet provides an overview of the topic area, legal and practical considerations, pertinent rules and regulations, and information on regulatory structures, agencies, and technical assistance providers.  

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Funding for development and printing of Cultivating Your Business™ was provided by

USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Grant.

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Idaho Cultivating Success™ is brought to you by University of Idaho Extension and UI Small Farms Extension

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 Idaho Cultivating Success and the University of Idaho have a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age, disability or status as a Vietnam era veteran. This policy applies to all programs, services, and facilities, and includes, but is not limited to, applications, admissions, access to programs and services, and employment.

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