Marketing can help you decide what to grow or produce, choose where and how you want to sell it, differentiate yourself from other farmers, and make effective use of social media and other marketing tools. Learn the basics of doing your own marketing or supervising someone else. This series of 4 webinars is designed as a complete marketing class, but you can view each one as a stand alone course.
Webinar 1: Use Market Research to Guide Farm Business Decisions
If you want to grow your business, you need to sell more to your existing customers, sell to new customers, and/or expand the number of products or services you offer. Market research can help you generate new ideas and choose the best options. This session will show you how to use basic market research to assess market trends, understand your current or potential customers, and decide what products, prices and channels make sense for your farm.
About the Instructor:
Myrna Greenfield, founder and “Top Egg” at Good Egg Marketing, provides expert marketing for good food and good causes. Good Egg helps businesses increase sales and build customer loyalty through brand development, sales and marketing strategies, websites, and social media. Greenfield is a frequent speaker, trainer and workshop presenter. She holds and MBA from the Simmons School of Management and lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
Webinar recorded on May 30, 2018.
3.19.18 // Allison Koch- TerraCorps Service Member & Community Engagement Coordinator
Have you ever felt like a donation or grant would help your farm move in the right direction? The Matching Enterprise Grants for Agriculture (MEGA) program provides up to $10,000 in grant money to new farmers! New Entry TerraCorps service member Allie Koch spoke with Steve Murray of Heart Beets Farm about his experience with the grant and his tips for new applicants.
This guide will help you use the ‘Income and Expenses Tool’ with farmers. The tool is an Excel spreadsheet, intended to be used one-on-one with a farmer and a program staff person. This tool can be used after a farmer has completed at least one selling season, or it can be used to make an estimated budget for the upcoming year. This teaching resource was developed by Global Gardens in Boise, Idaho in partnership with the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED Solutions). Refugee farmer training programs across the country provided feedback on this lesson, which is now integrated throughout the guide.
This is a resource designed to introduce some key concepts to farmers familiar with basic production and marketing strategies: profit, revenue, profitability, cost of production, and enterprise budgets. The key takeaway is this: to make money, you need to make informed decisions about how much it actually costs to produce a crop. By working through several examples of costs of producing various crops, farmers can start to assess which crops are easiest to grow, highest grossing, and have the most potential for highest net profit.
Tour a diversified vegetable and livestock farm while learning from Farm Manager, Andrew Rodgers, how selling to local schools fits into his farm’s crop and marketing plans. Learn about the necessary steps that must be taken to sell wholesale and the challenges of selling to institutions. Simca Horwitz from Massachusetts Farm to School will also be there to help take you through the process of connecting with local schools, and to help you decide if it is a good fit for you and your farm.
Come out to a highly successful farmers market to hear from Jeff Cole of Mass Farmers Markets speak about how to gear up to sell at farmers markets, including which permits are needed, food safety issues, fees and liability. You will also hear from Kate Canney of the The Neighborhood Farm. She will address how farmers markets fit into her farm’s overall marketing scheme, what equipment and how much time is needed, and how to best sell directly to customers.
Use these record keeping templates to help keep track of your harvests and your sales. These records are useful for keeping up-to-date records of income for applying for loans and/or grants. They also can be used for traceability and food safety plans on your farm.
Jessica Angell, founder of Cabbige, discusses how to keep record-keeping simple, focus on your farm, and make the most of the data you collect. Topics covered will include: technologies that make record-keeping simple and useful, what data to focus on and how to use it, and how data analysis can improve your profitability.