Community Supported Agriculture

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Program Description:

The Cooperative Extension Program at N. C. Agricultural & Technical State University provides educational program assistance and technical expertise to support the development of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) or Subscription-Sales (SS) farm marketing models. We also provide technical assistance to county-based Extension personnel who work directly with growers who deal with the planning and marketing issues associated with existing Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) or Subscription Sales.

In the CSA or SS marketing model, local farms offer unique farm product subscriptions to buyers who will receive a weekly or monthly box of fruits, vegetables, fresh flowers, eggs, meats, cheeses, or any assortment of local farm products. CSA and SS are ways a customer can develop a caring relationship with a local farm, just by purchasing farm products in advance. A financial commitment to a farm is made when members pay for the entire farm season up front. In a CSA program, customers become "members," "shareholders" or "subscribers" of the farm’s CSA program. Nationwide, there are over 2,000 CSA or SS farms, and the numbers keep growing.


Goals and Objectives:

To increase income for small-scale producers through education in alternative marketing systems of CSA and SS.

To provide a holistic educational program for Extension staff and faculty interested in alternative CSA and SS marketing systems topics, such as:

  1. Decision making tools for individuals interested in CSA and SS.
  2. Successful planning for CSA operations: pre-season to post-season.
  3. Targeted marketing and consumer education tools for CSA and SS.
  4. Taking advantage of the World Wide Web to market a CSA or SS business.
  5. Corporate CSA delivery models for interested large employment centers see http://www.rti.org/csa/ and http://www.hr.duke.edu/benefits/wellness/mobilemarket/.
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