Alternative Enterprises


ATTRA — Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas

ATTRA is one of the best sources of information on non-traditional agricultural enterprises. It provides many publications, both online and in print, for those interested in alternative crop and livestock enterprises.

ATTRA publications can also be obtained for free by calling ATTRA at 1-800-346-9140, Monday-Friday, from 7am to 7pm CST.

Penn State Ag Alternatives Program

Offers an alphabetical list of dozens of possible production enterprises, with links to fact sheets on each one.

Small Farm Decision-Making & Enterprise Planning Workbook

This workbook was originally developed for Ways to Grow, another award-winning program designed to expose small farmers to alternative agriculture. It helps farmers evaluate their potential for success with an alternative enterprise. Publication is in PDF format.

Missouri Alternatives Center – AgEBB

The Missouri Alternatives Center’s mission is to provide Missourians with timely information about alternative agricultural opportunities, to evaluate diverse enterprises, improve management decisions, increase economic returns, and enhance the quality of their lives.

Phone: 1-800-433-3704 (Missouri only)
Fax: (573) 884-4336

Beach Plum

Cornell University Beach plum (Prunus maritima) is a fruiting shrub native to coastal dunes of the northeastern United States. Since colonial times, people have collected wild fruit to make preserves and jelly. Interest in commercial production is growing. We’ve undertaken 30 small-scale production trials in the Northeast to help increase yields and improve growing practices. Our goals are to develop an integrated system for a sustainable beach plum industry. This includes fruit production, processing the crop into value-added products, developing niche markets for these products, and educating growers, processors, and marketers.

For more information, contact:

Richard H. Uva
Project Manager
Department of Horticulture
134A Plant Science Bldg.
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-5904
Phone: (607) 255-2746
Fax: (607) 255-9998


NewCROP (New Crops Resource Online Program) is an information-rich site about crop plants. It is a project of the Purdue University Center for New Crops and Plant Products and is associated with the New Crop Diversification project and the Jefferson Institute.

Jules Janick Center for New Crops & Plant Products
Purdue University
Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
625 Agriculture Mall Dr. West
Lafayette, IN 47907-2010
Phone: (765) 494-1329
Fax: (765) 494-0391

The Potential of Herbs as a Cash Crop

Millions of people are rediscovering the healing power of herbs and the traditional medicines of our ancestors. The market for fresh, locally-grown herbs and spices is seemingly unending. In this definitive work, herb growing, processing, and marketing authority Richard Alan Miller shares his decades of experience. Miller takes herb production out of the home garden and plants it firmly into the realm of the commercially viable enterprise.

230 pages. $20 plus S&H. Order online or contact:

Acres Books
P.O. Box 91299
Austin, TX 78709
Phone: (512) 892-4400 or 1-800-355-5313 (Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5pm CT)
Fax: (512) 892-4448

Deer, Elk, and Reindeer Farmers Information Network has become the leading source of information for those interested in raising deer, elk and reindeer. The site features all kinds of information related to deer farming, including a huge links page.

Wisconsin Association for Farming Elk, Red Deer, and Fallow Deer

This site features information about red deer, fallow deer, and elk.

The North American Deer Farmers Association

The North American Deer Farmers Association exists to:

  • establish, encourage, and facilitate an exchange of ideas on breeding, handling, and deer farm management among members;
  • promote deer farming and ranching and venison consumption in North America and to acquire and distribute information on all aspects of deer farming and ranching to members;
  • provide a forum for the solution of deer farming and ranching challenges and to keep members informed regarding the implementation of such solutions;
  • represent the deer farming and ranching industry to all levels of government, to livestock producers, and to other related organizations;
  • provide a registry for privately-owned cervidae;
  • establish and promote ethical standards of conduct and husbandry in deer farming and ranching;
  • establish, promote, and actively market standards for deer and deer products.


National Aquaculture Association

The NAA is a non-profit, tax exempt organization whose mission is to work with all segments of the U.S. aquaculture community for the purpose of national representation of mutual interests. The U.S. aquaculture industry is comprised of a wide diversity of species, including trout, shellfish, salmon, catfish, marine shrimp, baitfish, hybrid striped bass, freshwater shrimp, tilapia, crawfish, alligators, ornamental fish, and many others. NAA provides a unified national voice for aquaculture that ensures its sustainability, protects its profitability, and encourages its development in an environmentally responsible manner.

National Aquaculture Association
111 W. Washington Street Suite 1
Charles Town, WV 25414-1529
Phone: (304) 728-2167
Fax: (304) 728-2196

Aquaculture Magazine

Northern Aquaculture is a monthly trade publication devoted to the growth of a strong, economically viable, and environmentally conscious cold water aquaculture industry in North America. It covers the latest news in finfish and shellfish culture from both coasts as well as the central regions of North America. Species covered include salmon, trout, arctic charr, halibut, and shellfish. A 1-year subscription (6 issues) in the U.S. is $29.95. Other subscription options are listed at the site’s subscription page.

To subscribe by phone or mail, contact:

Aquaculture North America
815 1st Ave, #301
Seattle, WA, 98104
Phone: 1-800-661-0368
Fax: 250-478-3979

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