Farmer to Farmer
If you’ve ever wondered how to market your farm goods, here’s some helpful advice.
A: Ten years ago, we were doing four farmers markets each week, but we were struggling because we had no steady income off-season. Around the same time, we began raising turkeys and needed a method of distribution for the Thanksgiving birds after farmers market season had ended. And so we developed an email list, gathering names and email addresses at farmers markets and festivals (this was before we had a website).
We developed multiple Farm Drop locations throughout the area and began advertising our off-season products through the email list. Using this method, we can serve customers in a large geographical area (including two states and the District of Columbia) over a single weekend, and are able to net an income equivalent to eight farmers markets during the summer.
There are different email marketing companies, such as MailChimp and Constant Contact, that make using email lists efficient and easy. We have used no additional advertising beyond word of mouth. We believe our business is anchored in our relationship with our customers, and weekly emails allow us to develop this connection.
Brittany Jones, along with her husband, Trey, took a dream of having a quiet sanctuary and turned it into the working Kelby Ranch they now own and run in Texas. They raise everything from beef to free-range eggs.
Patti Lou Riker and her husband, Bill, started Tall Cotton Farm in Afton, Virginia, with four Hereford-Devon cows. They now farm in Urbanna, Virginia, producing grass-fed beef, plus turkey, pork, chicken and pasture-raised eggs.