Farm Credit Presents Study Results at National Value Added Agriculture Conference
MidAtlantic Farm Credit partnered with Temple University to conduct a study into the traits and habits of the New Generation farmer. The results were presented at the National Value Added Agriculture Conference, held in Baltimore, Maryland May 13-15, 2014.
Bill Kitsch, sales manager located in MidAtlantic Farm Credit’s Lancaster, Pennsylvania office, and Angel Adams, the association’s marketing manager, presented “The New Generation Farmer: A Market Overview” to a group attending the conference. The abstract outlined common values farmers in the New Generation movement share. “Our interest in conducting a study like this stems from our desire to serve the new generation farmer,” says Kitsch. “In order to serve this segment of the agricultural community, we have to look at our own business model and exercise some flexibility within our own processes.”
The study found new generation farmers are values-driven and strongly tied to their local community. Organic farming is very common among this agricultural segment and they value sustainable farming practices. “They are good neighbors with a respect for the environment, and a keen focus on their quality of life,” says Kitsch. This segment tends to have strong marketing and creative skills, allowing them think of innovative ways of creating awareness of their product. In addition, new generation farmers have the ability to distribute their products through multiple channels, often selling directly to the customer.
The results of this study have helped MidAtlantic Farm Credit better serve this customer base. “Our Farm Fresh Financing program offers the new generation farmer financing and credit options that are tailored to fit their unique business,” says Bob Frazee, CEO of MidAtlantic Farm Credit. “Farm Credit understands the new generation farmer’s wants and needs, which is why this program and our experience in agricultural lending make us excellent partners.”
The National Value Added Agriculture Conference is held each year in a different city around the country. Presenters discuss ways to enhance food security with innovative practices and opportunities. For more information about this conference, please visit agmrc.org/national-value-added-agriculture-conference/.