By Drew Baker
Value-added Agriculture is the future of farming. Especially for small, local farmers who find creative ways to use their resources to create new brands and revenue streams.
Value-added agriculture is the transformation of a basic farm product into something more valuable.
Some examples include dairy farmers diversifying into artisanal cheese and ice cream production; or ranchers making new designer clothing from raw wool; or grain farmers buy a still to make spirits; and of course, my favorite: grape-growers producing great wine.
If a farmer can transform a raw agricultural commodity into a marketable product or brand and sell directly to the end-user then the entire value-chain is captured.
But farmland is expensive. Many small family farms struggle with cash-flow. This is scary for their future.
Despite these daunting challenges, I believe the future for family farms is bright. Particularly in Maryland.
Millennials seem to recognize the value in locally farmed and thoughtfully produced products. Yes, their innovative products and brands may cost a bit more than their counterparts (those farmers who profit from basic agricultural products in high volumes) but the value of emerging new trend-setting brands and products is there for the taking. It just takes creativity. And often… cooperative resources.
That’s why we’re here.
Maryland Wine Cellars was created to help grape-growers transform their grapes into delicious wine.
The barriers to entry in the wine industry are high. Without getting into specifics, establishing and managing a vineyard, equipping a state-of-the-art winery, and building a beautiful tasting room are expensive.
But the resources are now within reach.
Wine & Business
The Cellar Blog is your authoritative guide to creating, sustaining, and growing a successful wine business. Discover the best practices and trade secrets needed to build and grow a robust enterprise.
Drew Baker will help you navigate through the rugged terrain of the wine industry.
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