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Direct Marketing > Marketing


Your marketing goals can be as simple or diverse as you choose. Understanding the variety of marketing options can help you better allocate resources and maximize profits.

Marketing Meat and Fiber

Selling local lamb, goat and fiber

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Video Resources

Pick Your Route(s)           

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Video Resources

Farmer's Market

Farmer’s Markets are the most popular venues to sell your fiber and retail cuts.  In Kentucky, it is advisable to sell at only registered Farmer’s Markets and Road-Side Stands. 


Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Farmer’s Market

Additional Resources:

KY Farmers' Market Manual and Resource Guide

Listing of Commercial Kitchens

Off Farm or Roadside Markets

You can sell your products directly from your home using freezers that are inspected by your local health department, or you can sell in the Certified Farm Markets program conducted by the Kentucky Farm Bureau.  

Additional Resources:

Are You Ready to Start a CSA? (Tennessee SP787-A)

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Video Resources

Marketing Lamb and Goats: Retail vs Wholesale Cuts


Marketing local lamb and goat meat is a great way to promote your farm, however some may be confused between retail and wholesale cuts.  In addition, your market and/or target audience will dictate which type of cut you will need.  

  Direct marketers of livestock, regardless of species, sometimes begins at a local farmer’s market.  The consumers at farmer’s markets are seeking retail cuts, like what they would purchase at the grocery store.  Retail cuts are the individual cuts that consumers purchase and prepare for a meal.  Sheep and goat farmers need to familiarize themselves with the individual retail cuts and work with their meat processor to provide those cuts.  Moreover, consumers are visual, thus retail cuts need to look appetizing and attractive to the consumer.  A positive, healthy relationship between the farmer and meat processor is key to the success of marketing retail cuts.

The majority of lamb and goat meat, nationally, is marketed as wholesale cuts.  These cuts are vacuum packaged, boxed, and shipped to retailers for fabrication into retail cuts.  Although this type of marketing occurs with the large, national meat processors, some local direct marketers may sell to restaurants or small family-owned grocery stores.  Wholesale cuts, such as the leg, loin, rack, and shoulder, are the large pieces that are fabricated into retail cuts.  Some local restaurants or small, family-owned grocery stores may prefer wholesale cuts.  

The type of market and the target audience will dictate if you need retail cuts or wholesale cuts.  Those selling at farmer’s markets or roadside stands will need to market retail cuts, which need eye appeal to attract consumers.  Whereas, those selling to restaurants or family-owned grocery stores will want to sell large wholesale cuts.  

Additional Resources

Marketing Lamb and Goat Meat to Hispanic Retail Outlets

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Video Resources

Retail Marketing

You may envision selling to a grocery store (chain), restaurant, and/or a local school district.  This can be a major challenge as you need to have a consistent supply and/or a consistent supply of the more desirable cuts (loins and racks).  In addition, these entities may require additional food safety programs that go beyond traditional USDA inspection.  This will greatly reduce the number of meat processors you can work with as not all meat processors have these additional food safety programs in place.

Additional Resources:

KCARD's Local Food Expansion Initiative

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Video Resources

Marketing Plan

Without marketing, people cannot learn about your business to buy from you. Like with other areas of your business, a marketing plan can outline what you are doing and what you need to do as your business grows to gain more customers and retain your current customers.


Your marketing plan focuses on three big points:

1) Who are your target customers,

2) How will you reach them, and

3) How will you retain customers, so they repeatedly buy from you.


Your marketing plan needs to include a solid marketing strategy so that the goals of your business can be achieved. Once your marketing strategy is developed, you should continually evaluate and reevaluate your business activities. In general, marketing uses the “Seven P Formula” for evaluation: Product, Price, Promotion, Place, Packaging, Positioning, and People.

Your marketing plan generally is comprised of the following sections:

  1. Business Summary and Marketing Goals

  2. Marketing Strategies

    1. Products/Services Offered

    2. Market Positioning

    3. Pricing Strategies

    4. Sales and Promotion Strategies

      1. Traditional Marketing

      2. Digital Marketing

        1. Website

        2. Email

        3. Social Media

        4. Search Engines

    5. Retention Strategy

    6. Distribution

  3. Market Research and Analysis

    1. Industry Analysis and Trends

    2. Key Competitors

    3. SWOT Analysis

  4. Customer Analysis

    1. Target Customer Groups

    2. Market Background

    3. Retail and Wholesale Customers

  5. Financials

    1. Budget

    2. Sales Forecast

    3. Key Performance Measures

Additional Resources:

Kentucky Small Business Development Center

Southeast Kentucky Economic Development

Marketing Plan Examples

Use thes 5 Steps to Creating a Marketing Plan

market strategy

Marketing Basics

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Video Resources

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Kentucky Proud Program

Kentucky Proud is the official state marketing program for agricultural products. There is no charge to join. As a Kentucky Proud member, you can consult with Kentucky Department of Agriculture marketing specialists; apply for grants and cost share funds; buy promotional items at cost; display the Kentucky Proud logo; and take advantage of many more member benefits.


When you join Kentucky Proud, you can take advantage of these services.


Kentucky Proud members may apply for horticulture marketing grants, promotional grants, funding from the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, and other opportunities.


Buy Local helps Kentucky restaurants and other food service businesses purchase the Kentucky Proud foods your customers want.


The Kentucky Department of Agriculture will grade meat from your farm at no cost to you.


This Kentucky Proud brand designates farm products produced by military veterans.


Ask our international marketing specialist to help you export your agricultural commodities, products, and services.


Livestock exhibitors who enroll in the program may be eligible for premiums at Kentucky Department of Agriculture-sponsored livestock shows.

Try Something Different Tonight

The Kentucky Sheep and Goat Development Office hosts a marketing campaign called Try Something Different Tonight. We promote small ruminant products that consumers can Try on their Plate, Try in their Home, and Try in their Fashion. Find information to help market your products. And, be sure to contact Kelley Yates to be added to places to purchase.

You can also purchase promotional items to give to your customers:

Something Different Tonight

The Goat Nutrition Cards are a stylish and professional way to introduce your customers to the benefits of eating goat meat and cheese. Use the cards at the farmers' market, a farm to table dinner, or to share with friends.


Product sold in units of 10; maximum 2 units per order. Purchase here.

goat nutrition cover
goat nurtrition back

The Lamb Nutrition Cards are a stylish and professional way to introduce your customers to the benefits of eating lamb meat and using wine pairings. Use the cards at the farmers' market, a farm to table dinner, or to share with friends.


Product sold in units of 10; maximum 2 units per order, Purchase here.

lamb nutrition front
lamb nutrition back
goat cooking guide

The Goat Cooking Guide is a full color trifold that provides information on the nutrition, cooking methods and preparation of goat meat products. 


20 trifolds per unit; 2 units maximum per order. Purchase here

lamb cooking guide

The Lamb Cooking Guide is a full color trifold that provides nutrition information, cooking methods and recipes for delicious, fresh lamb products.


20 trifolds per unit; maximum 2 units per order. Purchase here.

Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing refers to any type of marketing that isn’t online. This can include print, broadcast, direct mail, phone, and outdoor advertising like billboards and vehicle wraps. These ads are typically placed for a fee which corresponds to the size of the ad, as well as the medium in which it is published. While we are in the digital age, traditional marketing techniques still hold value and relevance, especially when combined with online strategies.

Additional Resources: 

10 Golden Rules to Design Business Cards

Rules of an Effective Business Card

50 Cool Flyer Designs to Inspire You

Ultimate Guide to Flyer Design

The Ultimate Guide to Direct Mail

American Lamb Board Promo Materials

Lamb Nutrition Guide

Goat Nutrition Guide

Goat Cooking Guide

Lamb Cooking Guide

example brochures

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing refers to any type of marketing that utilizes internet and online based digital platforms to promote products and services. This can include email, social media, website, and search engines. Customers are already spending time on the internet, and it keeps increasing each year (Pew Research Article). There are endless marketing opportunities with digital marketing, such as email, video, social media, website. You will need to embrace some aspects of digital marketing to be a competitive business owner. Getting creative with digital marketing is easy as there are so many options and strategies associated with it. It is also great to experiment with a variety of marketing tactics.


Email Marketing 101: What is it? Why it's Important to Your Business

Coffee Talk: Email Marketing


Facebook Business Page Basics

Social Selling- What it means yo your online marketing

It's the Little Things that Matter: Online Communications

Expanding Your Social Media Presence

Hashtags 101

Types of Facebook Posts

Nice, Simple Graphics and Advertisements

How to Handle Complaints and Poor Reviews on Social Media: Direct Marketing Tips for Specialty Crop Growers (Tennessee- D13)


Setting Up a SIMPLE Online Store

New Methods of Accepting Payments Online

Q & A with KCARD: Online Ordering Options

Do You Have to Collect Sales Tax for Online Sales?

Coffee Talk with P & P 

email marketing

Thank You to Our Partners

Special thanks to Dr. Gregg Rentfrow, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Associate Extension Professor in Meat Sciences, and Kati Bowman, Marketing Specialist for the Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development, for developing the content of this page.

University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension
KY Proud
Kentucky State University
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