Innovations for CSA Market Development and Shareholder Expansion - Marketing and Metrics

Grants and Contracts Details


Innovations for CSA Market Development and Shareholder Expansion - Marketing and Metrics EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In 250 words or less, describe the project’s need, purpose, goals, and expected outcomes. This summary will be made available to the public. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) became an increasingly popular food acquisition model during the COVID-19 pandemic. Existing CSAs reported many first-time shareholders with many farms shifting to online ordering systems and customization. Some farmers diversified into CSA to replace lost income in other markets. Other sectors developed CSA-like box products in their own pandemic-related pivots. Lines between direct market types blurred as different sectors collaborated to meet changing food needs and preferences. Consequently, the marketing landscape for CSA is changing rapidly. We propose a set of objectives to maintain CSA’s newfound popularity beyond the pandemic by developing technical assistance (TA) networks that evaluate changing consumer preferences and build bridges to diverse CSA-adjacent communities of practice. Our goal is to create and sustain market opportunities for existing and potential CSA farmers through TA resource provision and expanded network building. To accomplish this goal, we employ multiple strategies. First, we will evaluate characteristics of different shareholder types and market trends to create marketing messages and online engagement strategies that aid in recruitment and retention. Second, we will develop TA resources for and relationships with University-based personnel to facilitate the creation of incentivized CSA-to-University programs. Third, we will convene a farm business metrics working group to address data gaps, prioritize strategies for farm-, system-, and national-level data collection, and identify applied research topics. These activities are intended to improve CSA stakeholder data literacy and decision-making in many areas. Finally, we support all objectives by expanding and diversifying our existing national CSA TA network.
Effective start/end date9/30/219/29/24


  • Agricultural Marketing Service: $503,581.00


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