Exploring the Opportunity for Rapid Price Adjustments by Farmers during the Growing Season

Worksite Location
CCE Ulster, Columbia, Greene, Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Washington Counties
Faculty Sponsor
Anusuya Rangarajan, Senior Extension Associate, Horticulture
Field Mentors/Supervisors
Stephen Hadcock, Team Leader, CCE Albany County; Jesse Strzok, Extension Associate
Stipend Amount
$4,000
Project Summary and Intended Outcomes

Farmers who sell retail may be missing opportunities to realize more income. One relatively steady index of local retail prices for farm products is farmer’s markets. The intern will work with Extension Educators in the selected counties to collect retail prices for a variety of agricultural products by visiting various farmer’s markets on a weekly basis. The prices received for agricultural products at farmer’s markets will be reviewed for differences among counties and compared to the Hunts Point Market Report and USDA retail prices report to identify any trends. Findings will be shared with farmers in Eastern New York and then surveyed to identify any changes in their pricing practices.

Roles and Responsibilities

The intern will work with the project team to identify the top crops and up to six farmers markets for tracking prices. Once the intern finalizes a method to be used to collect pricing, s/he will proceed to implement the data collection strategy and summary strategy. Each week, the intern will share this data with the project team and highlight any specific data points worth noting. The project team will review this information to determine the relative significance of price differences that might suggest grower price action. If an action is decided, the intern will implement an outreach plan to disseminate what is learned with farmers in Eastern New York. Farmers will be interviewed at the end of the project to understand if/ how the information resulted in a change in their pricing strategy.

Qualifications and Previous Coursework

Must be a full-time CALS freshman, sophomore or junior. Graduating seniors are not eligible. Must meet NYS Department of Motor Vehicle requirement, if applicable.

• Experience using Excel and working with worksheets is desirable.
• Marketing or crop production courses desirable
• Coursework in statistics may be helpful
• Reliable transportation • Must be comfortable interacting with the public
• Ability to perform tasks independently

Benefits and Skills

• Experimental design and data collection techniques
• Public speaking
• Working in teams with diverse individuals and disciplines
• Creating effective outreach programs
• Data interpretation and how to determine what, if any, are the significance of the results
• Communicating research results to clientele
• A more clear understanding of local agriculture and its economic links to larger commodity focused markets in the region.