University review of the literature and suggestions for


University of California
Agriculture and Natural Resources. (2012). What is a Cooperative?1-12. 

Post, E.
(2012, August). Social Media Tools for Farm Product Marketing. National
Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, 1-16.

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J., Pedersen, S., Paternoga, M., Schwendel, E., & Aschemann-Witzel, J.
(2017). How important is country-of-origin for organic food consumers? A review
of the literature and suggestions for future research. British Food Journal,
119(3), 542-557. doi:10.1108/bfj-09-2016-0406

Gardner, M.
P. (1985). Mood States and Consumer Behavior: A Critical Review. Journal of
Consumer Research, 12(3), 281-300. doi:10.1086/208516

Dweck, C.S.
& Murphy, M. C. (2016). Mindsets shape consumer behavior. Journal of
Consumer Psychology, 26(1), 127-136. doi: 10.1016/j.jcps.2015.06.005

Bruynis, C.
L., Goldsmith, P., Hahn, D. E., & Taylor, W. J. (January 2001). Key Success
Factors For Emerging Agricultural Marketing Cooperatives. Key Success
Factors For Emerging Agricultural Marketing Cooperatives, 14-24. Retrieved
December 3, 2017.

Reference Page





be a marketer a person needs to think outside of the box. They need to know who
their consumers are, and how they are going to reach them. Subrena is great
example of an experienced marketer. This paper clarified that there is more to
marketing than what meets the eye. Marketers need to understand the psychology
of their consumers and the business strategies of the company and products they
represent. In today’s world, marketing relies on technology advancement and
social media to help them to reach their demographic of consumers. Marketing a
is good career to help people network and make connections. The role of a
marketer is an essential component of a successful business. To be a successful marketer, one
must be creative and innovative, personable and an incredibly specific outlook
for business. While this is a wonderful career with many opportunities, it may
not be for everyone. That why not everyone should choose to pursue a career in


In the final question she was asked about what the
target demographic is based on age, location, etc. Subrena states that her
company’s demographic for location is thirty miles into North Dakota, west to
the Missouri River, south and east from Aberdeen, SD. For age they look for
farmers who are the age of 18 to over 70 years old. As a marketer it is vital
to know what demographic your company wants to pursue, and reach out to. This
is because marketers can develop various types of strategies and methods to reach
out to different demographics.

The eighth question asked how Subrena looks at
the mindset of a consumer so that she can decide how she is going to try to
market and sell a coop to that consumer. Subrena explained that
while trying to market or sell the cooperative, she looks at the consumers
mindset. This
also helps her decide how to approach, and encourage them to join the
cooperative. Mindsets can also help her to relate consumers on a personal level
and make a bond with them. For example, she talks about her personal
experiences, about how her father was a farmer and how she knows what like to
be in their shoes. Consumers wants products, or businesses to relate them and
that will support them in the years to come. Mindsets are a significant variable
for marketer to understand.

In the seventh question, Subrena
explained how she evaluates consumer mood as a marketer and how doing so helps
sell the coop opportunity to consumers. When trying to market and sell to one of her
consumers face to face, she first determines what mood they are in at that given
time. Doing so helps her determine what their consumer behavior is and how to
approach the situation. Knowing a consumer’s behavior helps marketers
understand and decide how they are going to encourage consumers to buy products
or, join a business. Without comprehending the concept of consumer behavior,
marketers would have a tough time promoting, and selling their products or

In the sixth question, she was asked to explain
how her company falls under each cooperative principle. Each agricultural
cooperative should fulfill these principles in some shape or form. This
agriculture cooperative is user-owned; the farmers who finance and supply the
cooperative are actively involved in making decisions and receive the greatest
benefit.  Because they are owners, the farmers get to
control and determine how the cooperative should function in the agricultural
industry. When a farmer decides to become a member they receive benefits that
other cooperative maybe wouldn’t provide. These principles help keep the
members of the cooperative happy, and make the company successful in the long

The fifth question was if her company uses any
type of social media or networking site to get the word out about their company
and what they are all about. Social media is one of the most popular way to
advertise, and to spread the news about products and businesses. Subrena’s
company has Facebook, Twitter, and a website called She expresses the
importance of social media because she wants to get farmers attention and try
to influence them to join the cooperative. 
Social media is the main resource that people use to learn about new
information and events that are happening in today’s world. Without social
media and networking sites, the cooperative would not be able to recruit new
members, and build their company.

The third and fourth questions were about the
food industry and how it is growing quickly, especially with organic product
being in high demand. Also, how the increasing demand of organic products provide
advantage and disadvantages to Subrena’s job. Farmers give the world food, and
they are the main resource of organic products. In the Midwest, variable rate
technology, also known as precision ag, is becoming more commonly used by farmers
who want to increase their outputs. These outputs would include bushels by
acre. VRT is also changing the number of inputs, such as fertilizer, and nitrogen,
in different sections of the field where the soil is rich or poor. For example,
if the soil is poor in one section but rich in another, fertilizer only needs
be added to the poor section of soil. The food industry does affect her job and
the company tremendously. With bushels coming from the field because of the
technology, VRT, and new fertilizer, as a cooperative they need to have more
storage, and a larger piling system. As a cooperative they also need to work a
lot faster, especially when loading and unloading their harvest to the
elevator. They also need to make enhancements, so they can keep up with the
growth of the food industry. If they don’t make these adjustments the
cooperative will fall behind, and they will start to lose business quickly.

In second question Subrena was asked about the
techniques she uses as a marketer to persuade farmers to be part of the cooperative.
Because technology is growing rapidly, she emphasizes the company’s advancement
in the use of technology. Farmers are very engaged with technology, and they
know that technology is the future and will keep growing. So as a marketer, she
needs to inform her customers that they are updated with new systems, and
methods. Farmers care about customer service, and want to know that their
customers are being taking care of. So, her duty is to tell them that customer
services are the number one priority for their business.

Subrena Green, the
interviewee, gave great information about her job as an agricultural
cooperative marketer.
She expressed each of her answers in full detail, and helped the interviewer
learn more about her job and the agricultural cooperative business. The first question she
received was about the benefits farmers receive when they become part of the
cooperative. One benefit was that
the farmers get to own the cooperative. To be an owner, a farmer must meet certain
obligations before they can be come owners. They must meet the cooperatives
by-laws, and raise various types of products like livestock, and crops. The
farmer will also receive equity and are paid back in a proportion at the end of
the year if the cooperative makes any profits. They also will get paid back at
a given age, most of the time the designated age is 70 years or older. However,
if they pass away, the left-over equity will be given to their estate, so it
does not go to waste. Aside from getting paid, farmers in a cooperative get to
depend on one another for supplies and support. Each member in the cooperative
wants the other to succeed; if one farmer needs supplies, another farmer can
give them the tools and materials needed to complete a job. Also, if one of the
farmers is going through a hardship, they have their fellow members to support

Interview Results

A9: Our demographics are 30
miles into North Dakota, west to the Missouri river, south to Huron, SD, and
east to Aberdeen, SD. The average age of our members is 55, but we also have
members from age 18 to over 70.

Q9: What is your target
demographic? Target age, location, etc.?

A8: We do look and observe
our consumer mindset, so that we know what is the best way is to approach them,
and to get them to be part of our cooperative. Knowing their mindset can help
us to determine how to relate to them on a personal level.

Q8: Do you look at the
mindset of consumer to help to determine how you going to market/sell the coop
to them?

A7: When marketing to one
of our consumers face to face, we observe what their mood is and observe how we
can use that to encourage them to buy, and be part of our cooperative.

Q7: Do you look at a consumer’s
mood to help you identify what their consumer behavior is, and how you can use
it to help you market/sells coops?  

A6: Our company falls under
all these principles because we want are farmer to get the most out of the
cooperative. Our farmers who are owner, supplier, and investors get a lot of
use out of the cooperative. Since they are owners they have most control over
the cooperative and how it functions. Them being part of the cooperative
provides them certain benefits that receive when they join.

Q6: Explain how your
company falls under each cooperative principle?  Ex: user-owned principle, user- control
principle, user benefit principle.

A5: Yes, we use Facebook,
Twitter, and have our website,

Q5: Does your company use
any social media/ networking sites to get the word out about your company?

A4: Yes, it affects us.
With more bushels coming off the field due to technology & VRT, better
fertilizer, etc., that means we, as a coop, need to have more storage (bigger
bins and dryers), and bigger piling systems. We also need to be faster. When
farmers bring their harvest to the elevators, we have to be faster at dumping
their trucks because they need to get back to the field. The same goes for
spring work. We need to be faster at loading the farmer’s fertilizer trucks,
sprayers, etc. In a nutshell, we need to build or make improvements to be
relevant for the industry.

Q4: Does growth and changes
within the food industry affect your job or company?

A3: Farmers feed the world
and there are pockets of organic products; however, in this area of the
Midwest, Variable rate technology (VRT) aka precision ag is becoming more and
more needed as farmers try to increase their outputs (bushels per acre) with
the number of acres they farm remaining the same. VRT is varying the amount of
inputs (fertilizer, nitrogen, etc.) in different parts of the field where the
land is richer or poorer. So, if it’s a very rich soil, it doesn’t need as much
fertilizer and if it’s a poorer soil, it needs more. A lot of VRT is done with
satellite imagery. The red color is poor soil & green is good soil.

Q3: The
food industry is growing rapidly and there is an increased demand for organic
products. Is this an advantage or disadvantage for marketing with agricultural

A2: Farmers are very
engaged in technology, so we must be very innovative in technology and customer
service is first and foremost.

Q2: What are some
techniques you use to persuade farmers to buy co-ops from you, and your

The benefits of an
agricultural cooperative are that the farmers own the cooperative. To be an
owner, the farmer must meet the cooperative’s By-Laws for membership
requirements which is a predetermined amount of business as stated in the
By-Laws and must also raise ag products such as crops and/or livestock. The
owners in turn receive equity in the cooperative and then are paid back to them
at a certain percentage at the end of each year if the cooperative makes a
profit. It is also paid back to them at a certain age, such as 70 years old,
and a certain percent after that. If any equity remains at time of their
passing, it is paid back to their estate.

What are the benefits of
being part of an agricultural cooperative? 

Interview Data

            This appendix contains questions and answers that both
interviewer and interviewee provided. The interviewee was Subrena Green who is
the director of communication at North Central Farmer Elevator. She does the
media, marketing, and sales for the cooperative. When the interviewer started
the interview process, there were nine questions that were asked about the
interviewees job as a marketer. The interviewee gave detailed answers that met
the concept of the question, and helped the interviewer to get a better
understanding about their job as a marketer. These answers helped the interviewer
to complete the assignment and understand what it is like to be a marketer.

Interview Appendix




Not only is a social
media a factor to consider when marketing cooperatives, marketers must think
about the strategies and methods used to influence a consumer. Most marketers observe
and study consumer behavior when selling and endorsing a product, service or
business. Consumer behavior is used to understand their consumer and to supply
products or services that relates to them. The state of someone’s mood is an
important factor of consumer behavior. Understanding the connection between the
mood states of the consumer during marketing circumstances and their responses
to the strategies and tactics used is an incredibly important aspect of
marketing (Gardner, 1985, p.281). A consumer’s mood can be affected by marketing
communication, point-of-purchase stimuli, and service encounters. According to
Garder (1985), “Small changing in physical surroundings may influence consumers
moods at the point of purchase, and slight deviations in communication
strategies may significantly affect moods upon exposure to adverting. Moods are
often affected by factors beyond a marketer’s control, moods can be influenced
by seemingly small aspects of marketer behavior” (p.281). Mindsets are also
used to study, and learn about consumer behavior. The mindset of a person includes
how they think and respond to certain situations. Mindsets are significant components
of consumer behavior. Mindset can influence the products and services a
consumer is drawn to and the messages that they found influential. They also
play a central role in intergroup perception and experience (Dweck
2016, p.128). All marketers need to learn about the behavior of their
consumers. It does not matter what product, business, or service a marketer is
promoting, they need to understand their consumers’ wants and needs.

Most marketers of
agricultural cooperatives rely on social media and technology to help them
market their businesses. Social media is a thriving, integral part of communication
today. Both small and large businesses use social media to reach out to consumers.
According to Post (2012), “Farmers also use social media to put a face on how
food is grown. Farmers share photos and stories about how their farms are
operated, making a personal connection with consumers. Farmers can use social
media to inform people about agricultural issues that matter to them. Social
media allows direct communication with customers that is personalized and
targeted” (p.1).

When marketing
agricultural cooperatives, marketers need to consider the changes of the food
industry. Today, there is a higher demand for organic food. In many countries,
the demand for organic food is increasing faster than domestic production and
supply (Thogersen, Pedersen, Paternoga & Aschemann-Witzel, 2017, p542).  When the food industry changes, agricultural
cooperatives must be able to adjust to the new circumstances. This will also
affect the process of marketing for cooperatives as well. Marketers must keep
consumers informed about changes in the cooperative. They must also be aware of
and address the wants and needs of the consumers.

Today’s food industry is
changing rapidly, and agricultural cooperatives are important part of that. The
mission of agricultural cooperatives is to help the owners succeed. They
provide farmers will a support system. Because of the distinctive user-owner
principle, cooperatives can solve numerous market problems facing agricultural
producers (Bruynis, Goldsmith, Hahn, & Taylor, 2001, p. 14). Agricultural
cooperatives are increasing in numbers and profits. According to USCE (2012),
“Today, there are more than 3,000 agricultural cooperatives in the U.S., with
2.8 million memberships, a total net income of nearly $1.2 million and net
business volume of more than $96 billion” (p.3).

            There are a lot of
aspects to take into consideration when marketing a product, or business. One
must consider the consumers wants and needs, the psychology of marketing, and
methods of promoting the product or services. Marketers must be flexible and
willing to adjust marketing strategies if the product or service offered change.
The marketer who was interviewed, is Subrena Green a marketer for agricultural
cooperatives. An agricultural cooperative is an organization of small farms that
come together as a business to help each other produce and sell certain crops
and other products. There are three principles that agriculture cooperative
organization should portray. Agricultural cooperatives are user- owned,
user-controlled, and benefit the user. The user-owned principle states that the
people who own and supply the finance for the cooperative, also uses it. There
are no outside owners. The user-control principle outlines that the users of
the cooperative are also the individuals that control the business and make the
decisions. The user-benefit principle establishes that the single purpose of
the cooperative is to offer and dispense certain benefits to the users.


            From the beginning of commerce, connecting customers with
products has been vital to the success of a company. Today, the bond between
customer and company is as important as ever. Marketers help forge this bond.
Marketers have no shortage of products and businesses that they work with. Every
marketer is unique and has their own type of style of getting the word out
about their products, and businesses to their customers. In this study, a
marketer was interviewed about their job, industry, product, and customers.




customers with a business is vital to the success of the business. The online
explosion of consumer activity amplifies the need for a bridge between
customers and companies. Marketing is a growing field developed to make these
connections. This paper aims to investigate the role of a marketer through an
interview with an experienced marketer who works with agricultural
cooperatives. The interview questions were specific to the role of the marketer
within North Central Farmers Elevator. The answers provided proved to be
thorough, including details about the role of marketing within North Central Elevator
and the related strategies she used. The information presented in this paper
will help the reader determine whether or not marketing is the career path for



11, 2017





interview an experienced marketer

Life of a Marketer


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