NC Cooperative Extension

The N.C. Cooperative Extension Service houses a multidisciplinary group of professionals at the N.C. Research Campus as part of the Plants for Human Health Institute. Providing expertise in farm business management, communications and marketing, and fresh produce safety, these Cooperative Extension staff serve as an outreach component to complement the research conducted at PHHI.

National Resources

National Resources

Statistics and Data

Bureau of Labor Statistics
For entrepreneurs who are working on business plans, this site offers salary information for every type of job, including agricultural. The information is useful in determining what your own hourly rate should be figured at, along with what may be expected in your area in terms of pay. The site also provides labor force information as well.

Agencies, Centers and Institutes


  • Agricultural Marketing Resource Center (AgMRC)
    The Agricultural Marketing Resource Center is an electronic, national resource for producers interested in value-added agriculture. Browse commodities and products, investigate market and industry trends, study business creation and operation, read research results and locate value-added resources.
  • Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (USDA)
    The Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC) specializes in identifying resources about sustainable food systems and practices.  Topics the Center covers include sustainable and regenerative crop and livestock farming systems, ecological pest management, renewable energy options for farms, direct marketing practices and community food systems, organic production, certification and marketing, family farm and beginning, women and minority farmer issues, crop and livestock diversification.
  • eXtension Initiative
    eXtension is an Internet-based collaborative environment where Land Grant University content providers exchange objective, research-based knowledge to solve real challenges in real time. Dr. Kevin Gamble of N.C. State University is associate director.
  • Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture
    This website offers information and resources on farming and gardening, raising livestock, and buying and selling locally. The Kerr Center has long advocated for changes that would make agriculture more sustainable and is known for its groundbreaking work defining the steps to a sustainable agriculture.
  • Market Maker: Linking Agricultural Markets
    MarketMaker was developed as an online marketing resource to give Illinois farmers greater access to regional markets by linking them with processors, retailers, consumers and other food supply chain participants. It is currently one of the most extensive collections of searchable food industry related data in the country and contains over 350,000 profiles of farmers and other food related enterprises in Illinois, Iowa, Georgia, Mississippi, Nebraska, Kentucky, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and New York.
  • National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service
    This site features the latest in sustainable agriculture and organic farming news, events and funding opportunities, plus in-depth publications on production practices, alternative crop and livestock enterprises, innovative marketing and organic certification.
  • Rutgers Food Innovation Center (New Jersey)
    The Rutgers Food Innovation Center is a business incubation and economic development accelerator program, which provides business and technology expertise to startup and established food companies primarily in the mid-Atlantic region. The Center provides assistance in business development, market research, product and process development, workforce development and training, regulations and compliance support, and quality assurance and food safety systems. 
  • Small Business Administration
    The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.


  • Agricultural Alternatives (Penn State)
    Unlike publications for experienced producers, the Agricultural Alternatives fact sheets are developed for those less familiar with the enterprise. Each fact sheet contains information on marketing, production, enterprise budgeting, and resource requirements to help users make a balanced evaluation of the enterprise for their operation.
  • Agricultural Innovation and Commercialization Center (AICC) (Purdue University)
    AICC offers a wide range of information and commercialization tools used to educate its clients on how to assess the economic viability of a business idea. AICC provides educational materials such as an online business planning tool, INVenture, workshops, fact sheets and consultations.
  • Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (Minnesota)
    AURI provides scientific technical assistance and a targeted network of resources to Minnesota businesses looking to develop value-added uses for crops and coproducts. We provide applied research services and product development assistance to create new ag-based products and help move them to market.
  • Center for Agribusiness & Economic Development (CAED)  (Georgia)
    The Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development (CAED) provides timely assistance to producers and entrepreneurs in researching and implementing their ideas. Projects are reviewed and considered by their potential impacts. The Center works to add value to Georgia’s agricultural economy and help individuals succeed in agribusiness.
  • Center for Profitable Agriculture (CPA)  (Tennessee)
    The CPA aims to increase the value of Tennessee’s economy through new, expanded and improved processing and marketing of agricultural, aquaculture and forestry products, as well as home-based industries.
  • New England Small Farm Institute (Massachusetts)
    Located in Belchertown, MA, on Lampson Brook Farmstead, this land-based non-profit hosts a number of independent small farm businesses and is the site of a developing on-farm training program and business incubator. The site houses an extensive resource collection for new, beginning and transitioning farmers.

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