Northwest Direct is a collaborative effort to understand, evaluate and improve direct marketing opportunities for small farms. Led by the WSU Small Farms Program, project partners include land grant universities, government agencies, non-profits, and farmers across Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Together, these partners are building food and farming systems that improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of farmers, consumers and communities.
With funding from the USDA Initiative for Future Agriculture and Food Systems (IFAFS), the project partners have:
- Documented the current status and future potential of locally based food production and consumption systems in the three states, as well as three demographically diverse counties in each of the states.
- Developed whole farm case studies and business planning resources on four common direct marketing strategies: farmers’ markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), on-farm sales, and direct-to-retail.
- Fostered the development of farmers’ markets by working with market managers, vendors, and communities to understand the social and economic value of farmers’ markets.
- Identified and developed solutions to market barriers for poultry sales, including federal, state and local regulations, as well as access to processing infrastructure.