a national information resource for value-added agriculture
Agricultural Marketing Resource Center

VAA Instructional Materials

By Martin Frick, Montana State University, 2007, mfrick@montana.edu.


Each of the ten lessons in this curriculum contains the following major sections:
  • Lesson Title
  • Objectives
  • Materials/References Needed
  • Visual Masters
  • Interest Approach
  • Questions to Consider – With Answers
  • Student Activities
  • Conclusions
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Objectives: After completion of this unit, the students will be able to:
  • List value-added activities that can be used to add value to
    agricultural products.
  • Describe the personal attributes required to pursue a value-added
    agriculture enterprise.
  • Distinguish between creating value and capturing value as it applies
    to value-added agriculture.
  • Compare and contrast the strategies, using real examples, between
    an agricultural enterprise that creates value and another that captures
    value.
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Objectives: After completion of this unit, the students will be able to:
  • List the reasons that farmers pursue value-added enterprises
    for the commodities they produce.
  • Explain the benefits of value-added agriculture to a community.
  • Describe some individual success stories in the value-added
    sector of agriculture. 

Lesson 2: View Master

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Lesson 3: Direct Marketing of Agricultural Produce

Objectives: After completion of this unit, the students will be able to:
  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of direct marketing.
  • Describe the variations of direct marketing that can be used to
    best reach a group of customers.
  • Describe the steps involved in conducting a market evaluation
    for a product a producer wants to sell directly to a consumer.
  • Identify the fundamental steps in developing a marketing plan.
  • Define product differentiation and explain a producer’s motivation
    for product differentiation of value-added agriculture products.
Lesson 3: PowerPoint Presentation

Lesson 3: View Master
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Objectives: After completion of this unit, the students will be able to:
  • Explain the fundamental relationship between the seller and buyer
    of a product.
  • Differentiate between the importance of individual customer trust
    in a seller’s product and the institutionalized trust of food grades
    and standards.
  • Identify methods that can be used to develop a personal brand of
    trust with their customers.
  • Describe successful strategies aimed at improving a customer’s
    trust of a food product and the food supplier.
  • List and provide examples of the four-step customer service process.

Lesson 4: View Master

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Lesson 5: Customer Service: An Essential Component of Marketing
 

Objectives: After completion of this unit, the students will be able to:
  • Explain the essentials of customer service.
  • Identify other integral factors of the value-added business that
    contribute to customer service.
  • Describe procedures for handling customer complaints.
  • List and provide examples of the four-step customer service
    process.
_______________________________________________________________________________

Objectives: After completion of this unit, the students will be able to:
  • Define strategic planning from a value-added business perspective.
  • Identify the phases of strategic planning and the implications for a
    value-added business.
  • Identify roles of all business personnel in the strategic planning
    process.
  • Identify and describe components of business objectives.
  • Write business goals that are supported by business objectives and
    subsequent action plans. 
_______________________________________________________________________________
Objectives: After completion of this unit, the students will be able to:
  • List the typical challenges.
  • Describe how farms have overcome the challenges they faced when
    starting their value-added agriculture enterprise.
  • Identify where technical assistance can be found for those interested
    in starting a value-added agriculture enterprise.
_______________________________________________________________________________
Objectives: After completion of this unit, the students will be able to:
  • Explain the fundamentals of financial management.
  • Differentiate between short-term, intermediate-term and long-term
    debt.
  • Determine the value-added business’s ability to carry and pay a
    certain level of debt.
Objectives: After completion of this unit, the students will be able to:
  • Explain the importance of working capital.
  • Differentiate between the importance of individual customer trust
    in a seller’s product and the institutionalized trust of food grades
    and standards.
  • Determine how to determine the appropriate amount of working
    capital needed for proper financial planning.
  • Describe how working capital can serve as an indicator of potential
    financial problems.
  • List the financial ratios needed to calculate working capital needs.
_____________________________________________________________________________
Objectives: After completion of this unit, the students will be able to:
  • Explain the use of a business plan.
  • Differentiate between a business plan and feasibility study.
  • Describe the process (steps) involved in developing a business
    plan.
  • Describe how to use the plan to solicit financial resources.
  • Critique a business plan to determine its weaknesses and strengths. 
Lesson 10: PowerPoint Presentation
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