KNOXVILLE – In November, the Business Development Division of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and the University of Tennessee Extension team up to offer seminars to help farmers market products and experiences directly to farmers. consumers to increase their farm gate sales.
Direct on-farm marketing is a growing business in Tennessee. More and more farms are selling products directly to consumers, and average sales per farm are increasing. Data from the 2017 United States Census of Agriculture ranks Tennessee 12th nationally for the number of farms selling products directly to consumers for human consumption, 25th for the number of farms selling direct to retail markets , institutions and food centers; and 17th for the number of farms offering agrotourism and recreation services. Demand for local agricultural products and experiences has grown even more during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The “Using Direct Marketing and Choosing Tennessee Produce to Increase Farm Sales” seminars have been developed especially for farmers who are not yet taking full advantage of the marketing opportunities available free of charge from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture via the Pick Tennessee Products program.
“The Pick Tennessee Products program has connected people around the world to Tennessee agriculture and food products for over 30 years,” says Debbie Ball, business consultant with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. “With more farmers than ever before marketing products and experiences directly to consumers, we want to make our resources such as website and app listings, social media support and Pick Tennessee Products promotional items accessible. to all. “
Ball will share information about Pick Tennessee Products resources and other related Tennessee Department of Agriculture programs, including the Tennessee Farm Improvement Cost Sharing Program at the events.
Megan Bruch Leffew from UT Center for Profitable Agriculture will also share “Key Concepts and Resources for Direct On-Farm Marketing”.
The seminars will be held in six distressed or at-risk counties across the state. Tennessee farmers from any county are welcome. Registration is free and a meal will be offered at each location. Contact the local extension office to register at least three working days before the workshop and obtain information on the location of the workshop. The dates, times and registration details for each of the six events are:
- November 8 in Grundy County, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Central. Call 931-592-3971 or email [email protected] with your name and phone number to register with the Grundy County Extension Office.
- November 8 in Scott County, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST. Call the Scott County Extension Office at 423-663-4777 to register.
- Nov. 9 in Hancock County, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST. Call the Hancock County Extension Office to register at 423-733-2526.
- November 9 in Cocke County, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. EST. Call 423-623-7531 to register.
- November 18 in Hardeman County, noon to 2 p.m. Central. Call the Hardeman County Extension Office to register at 731-658-2421.
- November 18 at Perry County, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Central. Contact the Perry County Extension Office at 931-589-2331 to register.