Exploring Potential Innovative Marketing Approaches for US Agribusinesses

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Tech


Agribusinesses are multifaceted businesses that may be involved in all the phases of agricultural production, processing, manufacturing, distributing, and retailing. Although US agriculture is a multi-billion dollar industry, the majority of agribusinesses are considered small firms, having less than $250,000 in annual gross sales. This study investigates potential innovative marketing approaches for US agribusinesses, specifically for small farms and agribusinesses. One marketing approach involves an agritourism marketing tool based on an agricultural geocaching program, AgCache. The second proposed marketing approach explores the specialty crops marketing channel to institutional foodservice establishments.  For AgCache, exploratory qualitative analysis was first conducted through a series of in-depth interviews with current AgCache site owners. This was followed by survey data collection and analysis using a probit model to assess the interest in hosting an AgCache. For the specialty crops marketing channel, a probit model was utilized in order to assess the barriers faced by small-scale specialty crop producers as well as their interests in selling to institutional foodservice establishments. Specific attention was paid to logistic and food safety marketing constraints. The results reveal that with adequate attention towards specified barriers, the two marketing approaches can be implemented by US agribusinesses.  As well, there is also a strong interest by small farms and agribusinesses to implement these two marketing approaches. This study provides information valuable not only to small farms and agribusinesses, but also to rural communities' economic development and stakeholders involved in the agricultural industry. Results will be of interest to those in, and seeking to support agribusinesses and small-scale farms.



agribusiness, marketing, agritourism, specialty crops, United States