Workshop Set for Farmers’ Marketers in Harrisburg, PA

Bison Association Seeks to Strengthen Producers’ ‘Direct Marketing Skills

February 14, 2019

Increasing profitability of farmers’ market booths, on-farm stores and agritourism enterprises will be the focus of a special training workshop for bison producers and other growers at 10 a.m. Friday, March 8th at the Harrisburg East Red Lion Hotel, Harrisburg, PA.

Hosted by the National Bison Association and the Eastern Bison Association—in cooperation with U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service—the workshop will cover subjects regarding planning, merchandising, marketing, and leveraging a presence at farmers’ markets. It will also touch on agritourism and other direct marketing opportunities.  Participants at the workshop will work through a curriculum developed by a working group of buffalo producers with extensive experience in farmers’ markets.

Speakers will include National Bison Association Assistant Director, Jim Matheson, Nathan Stanbaugh of E3 Meat Co. in Baltimore, MD, and Pennsylvania Farm Markets Director, Brian Moyer. 

The workshop and curriculum are targeted to bison producers, but the information can be useful for people marketing other agriculture products as well. The session is open to all producers.

Matheson noted that most bison producers are small-scale and rely on direct marketing as an important part of their business. “Small-scale bison production is fairly common among producers in the eastern United States, so direct marketing is an important part of most bison operations. With the American public increasingly interested in knowing where their food comes from, there is a great opportunity for producers to connect with customers at farmers markets, through direct sales, and in offering agritourism events,” he said.

“Our workshop is intended to increase the ability of producers to connect with those customers,” Matheson added.

The workshop will run from 10 a.m. - Noon.  Registration is $30 per attendee, but is free to all participants who are registered for the Eastern Bison Association conference. All participants will receive a take-home copy of the workshop curriculum. 

More information is available on the National Bison Association website at

The workshop is being funded through the Farmers’ Market Promotion Program (FMPP) Grant Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA, under No. 16FMPPCO0021.