Ms. DiGiacomo’s research includes: 1) the economic impact of Spotted Wing Drosophila (Diptera: Drosophilidae) on Minnesota raspberry farms and IPM control measures; 2) the economic outcomes associated with cover crop use in high-tunnel and open-field organic vegetable systems; 3) the financial performance of transitioning organic farm businesses; 4) organic food systems; and 5) farm business planning.
During 2007-2008 Ms. DiGiacomo served as Senior Fellow in the Endowed Chair Program of the School of Agriculture. As a senior fellow she collaborated with government agencies, farmers, processors, and retailers to quantify local demand for organic products and to develop marketing tools for organic producers in the Upper Midwest. Her research included the development of marketing questions for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s 2007 Organic Farmer Survey (http://www.misa.umn.edu/vd/Organic_Marketing_Report_208.pdf); implementation of the 2007 Minnesota Organic Retail Survey; co-development of the USDA Agricultural Market News Service’s Upper Midwest Organic Price Report for Grains and Feedstuffs (.txt), and creation of the 2009 Minnesota Directory of Organic Buyers.
Extension and Outreach
Prior to serving as in the Endowed Chair, Ms. DiGiacomo worked as a freelance economist -- collaborating with farmers, Extension educators and other professionals to develop publications about farm marketing, planning, and business management. She has conducted business planning workshops for the Land Stewardship Project, Center for Farm Financial Management, Sustainable Farming Association, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, and Ag Star Financial Services.