Small and Alternative Enterprise - Feature Farmer

Richard Pouncy - Bumpy Road Farm - Leon County - Florida

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Richard Pouncy is the classic example of identifying a specific market segment, determining its need, then serving those needs. He is a retired forester who has a small specialty crop farm. His main market segment is the south Asian population in the north Florida\south Georgia area, most of whom are connected with one of the universities. He has identified vegetables typically wanted by several ethnic groups from this region and produced and marketed those vegetables. He has a loyal following and continues to expand his production and the variety of offerings to meet his clients wants. In the last two years he has moved to selling to local Asian markets.

As an Extension Agent, I have worked with Richard on a variety of issues. As with any farmer, pest and disease are a concern. His questions have certainly challenged my expertise, but through the use of EDIS and fellow agents, he has received useful answers. We have discussed at length marketing and pricing topics. With many vegetable, a small farmer is a price taker. With Richard’s unusual offerings, there is no basis for setting (or taking) a price. By serving an affluent and educated clientele, the pricing structure is what the market will bear and he has virtually no competition. There have also been questions about nutrient requirement and soil ph, all of which required a collaborative effort to answer.

Richard has set the standard for marketing the innovative and unusual. He has encouraged other small farmers marketing in the Tallahassee area to tailor their offerings to a specific market segment, not just the usual offerings that compete on price alone. He always has a smile and kind word for those with questions about his produce. To aid the timid or less adventurous souls, he even offers recipes to prepare his unusual product line.