College - Author 1

College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

Department - Author 1

Agribusiness Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Agricultural Business



Primary Advisor

Jacky Eshelby, College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences, Agribusiness Department


This study was undertaken to determine which strategies would allow the Cal Poly Organic Farm to operate as a profitable business without compromising educational and agricultural objectives. Three strategies were analyzed to determine the most profitable approach. The first strategy, expanding CSA sales, emphasizes marketing efforts to increase products and services awareness. This should increase CSA, CPOF, merchandise, and farmers’ markets sales. The second strategy implements new CSA produce boxes that cater to specific groups. Existing produce boxes will remain available to CSA members. Expanding produce boxes can be done with the produce on hand or expanding crop selection. The third strategy is to expand revenue opportunities outside of CSA membership, largely through farmers’ markets.

Data was collected by the 2000 United States Census, providing a demographic of San Luis Obispo residents. This data was used to formulate advertising and marketing strategies. Further research and development is recommended to analyze organic produce purchasing trends for locals. Historic income statements were gathered to forecast five year spans comparing revenue and costs for strategic and base income statements. It is concluded that CPOF will be more profitable by implementing strategies rather than not over a five year period. CPOF will be able to enhance consumer options in 2013 by increasing production and crop selection. By this time, CPOF will have the finances to implement the second strategy; increase consumer choices. This is based on the conclusion that CPOF will be able to experience a profit of $ 1,939.00 in 2010 and $64,032 in 2014, if strategies are implemented. In comparison over a five year forecast, strategies will generate combined revenue of $138,056.00 versus a net loss of $114,203.00 if no strategies are implemented.