[Market-farming] Selling of Meat in Minnesota

Rick Hopkins rdhopkins at americanpasturage.com
Sat Jan 4 11:30:20 EST 2003


Robert,

You are inspiring!

I find many growers in our area with products and no incentive to market.
Their efforts often end up in the compost pile.  We have been marketing our
beef at the local farmer's market for four years now and I mean marketing.
Some of the vegetable producers just put out their produce and people either
buy or not.  The ones that are successful market their products in addition
to displaying them and are more successful, building customer relations and
loyalty.

As we cannot display meat due to health department constraints, we must go
an extra measure to get our message to our customers.  I had to learn by
trial and error what works and what doesn't.  There is a whole book on that
topic.

It frustrates me when growers enter what appears to be a profitable sector
only to give up in disgust when people don't flood their booth or farm to
buy.  Everything takes marketing and each customer can be different in the
approach required to gain their confidence.

Do you have a link for the N. Michigan Small Farm Conference?

Rick H.

-----Original Message-----
From: market-farming-admin at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:market-farming-admin at lists.ibiblio.org]On Behalf Of Robert Farr
Sent: Saturday, January 04, 2003 8:54 AM
To: market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] Selling of Meat in Minnesota


I spend a significant portion of every day marketing.

Yesterday, for example, I pitched a publication on doing a couple
articles.  I made sales calls (by telephone) to four stores (sold to
two).  I worked on two presentations - one which I'm giving to a local
home owners' association, the other for the N. Michigan Small Farm
Conference, where I'm giving the keynote Jan. 25.

I also added names to my e-mail marketing list (nearly 4,700 subscribers
now), worked on the re-design of my web site, started designing new
labels for my products (of which we have 20), and discussed an
advertising program with a food magazine (which I can't yet afford - but
hope to by mid-year).

Other days, I'll pitch to more stores, work on a book (called,
tentatively, "Cookin' with the Chile Man"), see about lining up more
presentations (both local and natioinal), put together dinners with
local restaurants (we have two upcoming), talk to some local wineries
about private-label products, finish my fair schedule (we did 38 events
last year, 10 of them at the farm), work with a local farm on joining
their CSA, develop and promote new products (we have 3 or 4 new ones I'm
contemplating), and try to plug into some new Internet search engines.

There's lots to do out there - but we have to come off of the farm to do
them.  This time of year is the best to develop and execute new
marketing strategies.  Wish I had more time to do them year round!

--
Robert Farr
The Chile Man
(540) 668-7160

*  A sustainable farm producing hot sauce marinades, salsas, mustards,
and barbecue.
*  Subscribe to our online newsletter at http://www.thechileman.com
*  Check out this article about us from The Washington Post:
   http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/style/food/A8659-2001Jul17.html
*  Open Houses and Farm Tours throughout the year.  See our web site for
details!


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