Our Story

Who is CREE?

The Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement (CREE) is an issue-focused transdisciplinary center that serves as a generator and source of knowledge about new-media marketing.

CREE approaches problems through the lens of our home disciplines of agricultural communication, horticulture, and agricultural economics in a combined effort to enable rural and agriculture-based businesses to flourish in ever-changing environments, while fostering positive changes to rural livelihood.

CREE was founded in 2015 at Kansas University when center co-founder Cheryl Boyer saw a need in the horticulture industry.

Boyer had a background in the horticulture industry where she saw a gap in discoverable and accessible marketing research, resources and tools. Upon this realization, Boyer reached out to center co-founders, Lauri Baker and Hikaru Peterson.

Together, this team began applying for grants, conducting research, and creating useful learning resources for industry and extension. CREE is now housed at three universities with Cheryl Boyer at Kansas State University, Lauri Baker at the University of Florida, and with Hikaru Peterson at the University of Minnesota.

As thought leaders on new-media marketing for agricultural businesses, CREE serves the Land-Grant mission through:

Generating research-based knowledge related to new-media marketing.

Offering hands-on research experiences for students.

Serving as a source for research-based knowledge in local, regional, and national rural communities and agriculture-based enterprises.

CREE’s Target Audience

Farmers and ranchers and other agricultural enterprises, such as agritourism and farmers markets.

Independently-owned rural-based businesses, like garden centers and retail stores.

Next generation of agricultural marketing professionals (undergraduate and graduate students).

Those involved in rural-economic development in private and public sectors.