There are multiple approaches that producers can take to help increase ranch income that ranges from improving traditional avenues of revenue to taking a more unconventional approach to the diversification of income. A workshop coming up on November 20 in Watsonville is focused on helping producers better understand the value of marketing their products.
“Some of the things that we’re going to be talking about in this workshop are really basic things like what is marketing? How can we demystify marketing? What are its functions in your livestock operation and how can marketing benefit your operation?” said Devii Rao, Livestock and Natural Resources Advisor for San Benito, Monterey, and Santa Cruz Counties. “We wanted to start bringing up that conversation and help ranchers share with each other their successes and their challenges.”
Some of the presentations will center on how to apply marketing principles to ranch products and the development of value-added products. Other topics that will be discussed include an in-depth look at selling grass-fed beef and the importance of knowing your customer and how to negotiate.
“A lot of times the local ranchers here on the central coast and probably across the state of California, they are very comfortable and very good at raising animals,” said Rao. “But you can take it to the next level and look for niche markets and different ways to sell your animals as opposed to at the livestock auction yard or through online auctions and things like that. There are many different ways to earn income from your ranch.”
Another meeting recently hosted in Marin County by the Central Coast Rangeland Coalition focused on exploring some non-traditional methods to increase ranch income. Some of the approaches included opening the ranch for hosting weddings and other special events or offering some type of agricultural experience to learn and participate on a working farm. “People from L.A. and the Bay Area will pay a good amount of money to come stay on someone’s ranch and have an experience that they wouldn’t be able to have otherwise. So, it’s another way to market your ranch,” Rao noted.