Many of the publications and fact sheets in this resource manual contain marketing suggestions. The articles in this section are more extensive and contain case studies, with emphasis on niche markets, specialty, and value added crops. In addition, there is a publication on developing a business plan.
Several of the individuals mentioned in previous sections of this resource manual are also good contacts for updated marketing information. They include:
Associate Professor, Forest Products Marketing and Management
Wood Science & Forest Products
210D Cheatham Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0323
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Extension Specialist-Alternative Agriculture
Virginia State University
Petersburg, VA 23806
Charles W. Becker III
Utilization & Marketing
VA Department of Forestry
900 Natural Resources Dr., Suite 800
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Ray Pickering, Director
Agricultural Development Office – Fauquier County
35 Culpeper Street
Warrenton, VA 20186
Infrastructure and Marketing Opportunities For Fauquier County Forest ProductsThe infrastructure and marketing opportunities for local forest products varies considerably. For traditional timber products, there are numerous sawmills, timber companies, and consulting foresters in Fauquier and surrounding counties. Any landowner considering a timber harvesting or planting operation should contact the local Virginia Department of Forestry office. County Foresters can develop timber management plans and place landowners in contact with appropriate timber buying companies and consulting foresters.
Most Christmas tree farms in Fauquier County are small and sell directly to customers as choose and cut operations. The proximity to a large population base, both in Fauquier and from nearby Northern Virginia, continue to make Christmas tree farms a potentially profitable enterprise. Many farms advertise trees with roadside signs, through special Christmas tree sections in the classified pages of local newspapers, and through guides published by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. In addition, the Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association provides services to participating members/growers throughout the state. Any landowner interested in growing Christmas trees can find most of the information they need to get started from the Virginia Department of Forestry and Virginia Cooperative Extension.
The infrastructure and market for non-traditional forest products is less well established. Most people who are successful have learned the business on their own and developed their own markets. Products are sold through farmer's markets, nurseries, restaurants, floral shops, and local crafters, depending on the product produced. Landowners who want to learn about producing non-traditional forest products may have a hard time finding resources. Expertise does exist with specialists in Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Virginia Department of Forestry, and the Department of Wood Science and Forest Products at Virginia Tech. There are numerous resources located on the Internet for those familiar with computer searches. There is good potential for informational meetings and training sessions to be conducted by the mentioned organizations to introduce non-traditional forest products to interested landowners.
Training in marketing and developing business plans should go hand in hand with production meetings. Most non-traditional forest products are sold in niche markets. Producers may need assistance in developing or locating markets, or in organizing cooperative efforts to sell their products.
Date Last Modified: 07/14/2005