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Friday, January 24, 2014

A post in response to a question from OhioFarmGirl which could also apply to Mr. Goff

OhioFarmGirl, whose initials I continually transpose into OMFG instead of OFG, asked about the class we attended on marketing for small farmers.
I'm going to brief as I need to go no-till some oats for my neighbor.
The featured speaker was Atina Diffley (Click here for link).
It was mostly about organic farming and instead of marketing advice it turned out to be mostly about selling and handling organic produce and less about actual marketing.
Atina Diffley and her husband run Gardens of Eagan which is an organic farm in operation since the 1970's.
She fought the Koch brother's to prevent a pipeline from being routed through her farm.
I tend to fade out when the Koch brothers are brought up. I know that the term "Koch Brothers" is a codeword and if I smile and nod then I'm part of a flash mob meeting of looney left club. Not that I love the Koch Brothers, I imagine them to be the sort of short-pants arse-hole republican zero-tolerance multi-level marketing people who I also hate. I also suspect that I am wrong but what does it matter? Who actually takes me seriously?
But, I digress...
I can tell you the basics of small farm marketing. It is no difference than any other marketing.

1. Ask yourself what you have that anyone would buy from you?
2. Ask yourself why they would buy this from you instead of the big box store.

What makes you special?

The way I see it is that you have to compete against people who can do what you do much cheaper and much faster.
So... you have to do a really good job meaning-high quality produce, clean produce, the right produce, and you have to have good customer service, you have to promote yourself without annoying your customers.

Atina talked quite bit about being efficient and being clean. If I can find my notes, I have a link to her presentation. I will post it later.
She is one heck of a promoter.
She found a "golden egg" which they did a good job with and which brought them in a lot of money. Not everyone can do that.

And now I've got to get to work. Perhaps more on this subject later. It was very interesting.


  1. super! thanks... what makes me special? well i have geese and apparently am OMFG hilarious. wonder if one of them geese has a golden egg. anyway. super. all good stuff - thanks! :-)

    1. Just remember not to eat the goose with the golden egg. I think that ruined everything.

  2. My problem is that I am just the supplier of the "raw material" and all the value added guys and handlers in between seem to make the big money on what I grow. I saw a package of organic wheat for sale yesterday for $2.29 per kg which if my weak math skills are right is something over $62 per bushel. More than ten times what I could get for mine out of the bin. That is a lot of value added. Of course mine is not organic wheat. :-(

    1. That is my problem as well. I see buckwheat by the pound for more than what I would get for a 50lb bag. If I could even sell a 50lb bag. (I have three tons of the stuff)
      Flax sells for $3-4 per lb in little paper bags.
      And that is why I signed up for a class on marketing. But, I suppose I am looking for a magic plan. there are no magic plans you just have to keep trying things until one thing works. "If you build it they will come," is a bunch of BS...


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