Fortunately, MGGA already had in place effective mechanisms to identify member needs.
Research conducted by MGGA and our state university showed that most farmers in the state were typically selling their product in the lower half of the market and leaving nearly $100 million on the table from missed marketing opportunities.
To address this need, MGGA first looked to private information providers.
In addition, they suggested that membership in MGGA be required to subscribe.
MGGA would have an ongoing revenue stream from Web sites in other states--without the headache of having to build and maintain the sites ourselves.
The Montana Grain Growers Association (MGGA) had a built-in advantage when it asked its board of directors to embrace and sign off on a fairly expansive program to assist members with marketing: It was the board itself that spearheaded the initiative to identify members' greatest need in the first place.
MGGA's board of directors represents a lot of small independent businesses and so are unfamiliar with making large investments in education.
With virtually no budget for the project, MGGA found financial resources through corporate solicitations, grants, and an unfilled staff position.