A genuine approach to marketing your farm. Your Story.
Every person that makes a living from the land has a unique story. Every story has a why. The land has been passed down to new stewards. There are social problems to mend through agriculture. The healing of nature starts with someone stopping to take responsibility of sustainable farming and ranching practices. There is this socially responsible drive by many people that attracts them back to the field and plots of harvest land. The reclaiming of past urban sprawl as new hydroponic facilities bring jobs and crops back to the farm land now covered by steel and concrete. Stories. Reasons why someone has picked up shovels and run water lines to seeds sprouted in both new and old methods.
These whys become the stories that people want to hear. When an agricultural steward tells that story, people listen. Articles are wrote and people who if evan fractionally buy into the story begin to seek the places and people who are creating the new farming realities. Creating and caring for delicate life is still magical. Planting the seeds to nurture our bodies the way our grandparents, countries founders, and our ancient ancestors did interconnects us all across People want that magic back in their life even if they don’t want to do it themselves. What a time to be growing.
So, how to we tell our farming story? Simply be yourself. Know, understand and accept your why. Remember to continue believing in why you started. The story might change over time and thats okay too, as long as there is a valued detail to the journey to go along with it.
How often has the word story been mentioned? What do all stories have in all of the great books, movies, plays and music throughout history? Characters who tell and bring these tales to life. But as a farmer you are not a character. Your family and workers are real people living in a real world facing tough times and huge companies who spend billions in advertising to shut you down. This is no fairytale, this is grassroots marketing.
As a farmer going to market, wherever that might be, your job is to tell your story. But you are no character, you are a farmer of character. A real person in a real world doing good work worth buying because you planted and cared for your produce with character. There was no shortcuts to your final product. You tended your crops and livestock for reasons bigger than going to market. Share those reasons. Own those reasons and the buyers will seek you out time and time again.
People buy from those they know, like, and trust. It is that simple.
The genuine story of you and how you came to, no matter what it is with few exceptions will lend it’s self to a reason for visiting your market stand.
Self Promotion is an uncomfortable thing. What is it for most people to not want to shine? It’s a new experience especially given the solidarity that the farming life affords. Just keep in mind what when birds of a feather flock together and other farmers are talking shop, isn’t it full of great stories. These agricultural stories have stitched together this and every country since the first developments in the Fertile Crescent in Mesopotamia.
As villages developed in fertile areas and roads began to lead from farm to central markets, eventual leading to expanded markets stories were told. Knowledge was passed down. Humans Evolved. Technology took leaps and bounds from plows in the fields to hulls in the oceans exploring new trade routs to other markets.
Agriculture was the catalyst for technological advances and continue to be so to this day. Ironically, if you look at current market trends we are having to re-learn the older proven & simpler methods.
Everyday the world looses farmers to old age. With their passing we are loosing generations of knowledge as their passing marks an end of a farms era. Often their kids went to college and got jobs in other areas outside of agriculture. As they moved out and the farm died out there had to be room to put all of these new workers. Enter urban sprawl & the loss of farmland. Loosing the land, the stewards with knowledge of how to properly care for it, as well as the exodus of newer generations we lost our agriculture heritage.
Now we thankful see a renewal of desire to work the land and set up market farms. It is a nobel and romantic notion. However more often than not as people excitedly jump into these new vocations unprepared they quickly realize how hard civilization building was. Without a proper foundation to sustain profits, your new civilization could collapse.
As you turn soil or set up your first hydroponic system, keep your story at the front of your thoughts. Every seed will have a reason & purpose. The drive to continue the story started by humans as a collective, long ago. Now it is your turn to tell your story. Then someday, you will pass that story along to someone else.
The passing of the story of the farm…..your farm will help you sell your crop. But only if you understand the importance of it now & are prepared to share it as part of your marketing plan.