Make hay while the sun shines (and market grain while the toddler sleeps)

By Halee Wepking, Meadowlark Organics and Bickford Organics  Hello! Halee Wepking here, trying to do what I can to help out my husband, John, who is currently turning over windrows of hay that was rained on yesterday in hopes that the predicted storm will miss us tonight and they can bale dry hay tomorrow. As they say, make hay when the sun shines, and get to work when your toddler’s napping! I don’t spend much time on a tractor these days,... Read More

Resource Spotlight: 12 Month Farm Finance Challenge

The first few weeks of the New Year are a good time to reflect on how lucky we are to work in agriculture. For many, the farm lifestyle is as, if not more, important than making money. Yet farms are still businesses, and many young farmers aren’t spending enough time managing their farm’s finances. Many beginning farmers starting their businesses don’t know how to budget for expenses, or how much they’ll make producing a given agricultural... Read More

BOOTSTRAP @ FORAGER FARM – MARKETING THE STARTUP FARM:

By Hannah Moser of Forager Farm I’ve always viewed marketing as telling a story and there’s no better story to tell than the one of growing food and community. I feel a bit biased discussing marketing in farming. Before I decided to be a farmer, I was a marketer. I have a degree in Public Relations and Advertising and have done a lot of self-teaching on graphic design and web design. Therefore, I knew from the beginning that we’d have to create... Read More

Is social media working for your farm?

Even if we may prefer the company of cows or the peace of a field to the company of others, marketing is an undeniable part of operating a successful small farm or business. The Golden Yoke in Montana uses Facebook to build a loyal base of supporters as they start out their farm business. Farm conferences around the country now regularly offer marketing and social media training specifically to help nudge the more introverted among us and to assist... Read More

BOOTSTRAP @ NORTH COUNTRY CREAMERY – DEVELOPING A MARKETING PLAN

By Ashlee Kleinhammer of North Country Creamery Speaking with a customer at the farmers market.   This year we took a multi-prong approach to marketing. I was striving toward an ideal that we would sell most of our products through a CSA. We managed to serve around a dozen members locally, and twenty-eight members through Juniper Hill Farms’ Farmigo share (a CSA service managed completely online). The local CSA operated like a pre-paid credit... Read More

BOOTSTRAP @ BLUE SAGE FARM – DEVELOPING A MARKETING PLAN:

By Laura Sluder Farmer’s markets have been the mainstay of my marketing plan for the past 9 years. They are a great way to get a small farm up and running with some cash flow but there are downsides to farmer’s markets. For one, they are usually only open in the summer but farm expenses come all year long. Another disadvantage is that the farmer has to be the one at the market, hence the name “farmer’s market”. While this is a great selling... Read More

BOOTSTRAP @ CHASEHOLM FARM – REFLECTIONS ON MARKETING

By Sarah Lyons Chase of Chaseholm Farm This is post is coming at a good time for the farm, we were approved for raw milk sales last week and concrete was poured in our future tiny farm store. Getting into dairy farming from cheese making was like taking a step further behind the scenes, further away from farmers markets and retail pricing, more than that it was saying hello to commodity markets and forgetting about marketing…at least for a moment.... Read More

BOOTSTRAP @ THE GOLDEN YOKE – MARKETING & SALES

By Laura Ginsburg of The Golden Yoke For marketing, like the rest of our farm venture, we are starting small with big visions for the future. We currently have a logo, a Facebook page, a domain name, and the makings of a Kickstarter campaign. We have visions of shirts, stickers, ice cream cartons, a scoop mobile, and much more. When we lived in Vermont, with our farm business idea still in its infancy, we developed the logo that would identify us.... Read More

Bootstrap @ Chaseholm Farm – Marketing and Sales

This is post is coming at a good time for the farm, we were approved for raw milk sales last week and concrete was poured in our future tiny farm store. Getting into dairy farming from cheese making was like taking a step further behind the scenes, further away from farmers markets and retail pricing, more than that it was saying hello to commodity markets and forgetting about marketing…at least for a moment. I welcomed that then and I still... Read More

MOSES’ focus on Young Organic Stewards

The recent Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) conference featured a host of workshops, including some specifically intended for young farmers.  The Young Organic Stewards program, for example, included presentations on topics ranging from marketing and business to the use of social media to promote a business.  Those addressing the financial side of farming were particularly useful; I’ve summarized some of the highlights... Read More

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