Pierce County, WI News

Is value added right for the farm? Folsom talks steps to develop agribusiness

Thursday, June 13, 2019

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More consumers are craving local, artisan food products. Value added dairy products are a part of this demand.

“Whether it’s for you really depends on your passion, desire, creativity and a sound business value proposition,” Joe Folsom said.

Folsom is the executive director of the Pierce County Economic Development Corporation in River Falls, Wis. He also works with small businesses as part of SCORE in St. Paul, Minn.

Before deciding if value added is right for the dairy, farmers need to consider the product they wish to explore and the consumer base for said product.

Consider the community in which the dairy is surrounded by.

“Because of Pierce County’s vicinity to the Twin Cities and metro area, there are a lot of smaller producers exploring marketing opportunities due to their vicinity to the metro market,” Folsom said. “If done right, they can distinguish themselves and be successful.”

Value added farms Folsom has worked with include those featuring grassfed beef, rural experiences and education.

Then, conduct a value propositions test with real customers.

“Identify the product or service that will differentiate yourself from the competition and get feedback,” Folsom said. “Test the proposition. Is it something marketable? Does it make sense? Does it have great value to you?”

Use the lean startup business canvas to evaluate, define and test the value proposition. This methods shortens product creation cycle and viability determination.

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Fast Fact Image

Beautiful Lake Pepin

The wide area of the lake stretches from Bay City, Wisconsin, in the north, down past Pepin, Wisconsin, and Reeds Landing, Minnesota, in the south, with Pepin being just upstream from where the Chippewa River enters the Mississippi. The villages of Maiden Rock and Stockholm border on the Wisconsin side, while Frontenac State Park takes up a large part of the Minnesota side. The largest city on the waterfront is Lake City, Minnesota.