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It's only the first week and my mind is already churning with ideas for where this road may lead. Farmers are so busy with the day to day that they can't dedicate the time they would like to marketing and business development. It's a priority for sure but when the veggies need to be harvested and taken to market that takes precedent. Whether it be working part-time for a few farmers or being hired as a consultant, farmers could use advice on how to leverage what they do best or how to promote themselves better. For instance, I was at the local farmer's market this past Wednesday evening. Which, by the way, is a community celebration here in Boulder where people come for the social aspect as much as for the fresh produce. The place was packed with food vendors, children playing and street performers. Anyway, I saw arugula at this one stand and thought about this yummy white pizza I make with arugula salad on top. But as I sized up the stand, I got the impression it was not organic so I went to the next stall which had lettuce displayed in baskets, a fun name and catchy logo (FYI...just because a farmer is at a farmer's market, doesn't mean they are organic). The next day, I asked my farming co-workers if that other farm was organic and they said yes and they do a really great job. Whoops! The farm's logo, however, was generic and looked more like a sister company to Monsanto than your local, organic grower. And their stand was bland and not well staffed. Yes, I should have asked if they were organic and yes ,we need to get to know all out local farmers,. But, the average Josephine has a farm profile in her mind. A little elbow grease into the branding and profits could increase. For some farmers, it may mean diversifying to attract more customers not just at the farmer's market but to the farm itself. I read this article yesterday in the New York Times on Agritourism. Not only can, and should, farms market themselves better but they may find a new business opportunity and a way to hire more employees by starting a side business and offer farm stays, bed and breakfasts, work shares, pick-your-own, barn weddings, field dinners, etc...

Maggie
6/17/2011 03:08:12 pm

Great idea, Susie, and a great lesson about not judging a book by its cover!

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5/30/2012 04:06:28 pm

Interesting post and thanks for sharing. Some things in here I have not thought about before. Thanks for making such a cool post which is really very well written. Will be referring a lot of friends about this. Keep blogging.

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9/13/2012 03:07:54 pm

I admire your thoughts and your way of expressing and putting it in front of readers is really something that I have seen after a long time. We need more writers like you.

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