Farmers interested in maintaining or building direct farm marketing relationships with consumers should make plans to attend the Agriculture Direct Farm Marketing Summit. The series of webinars, hosted by several agricultural industry partners in Kentucky as well as the University of Tennessee Center for Profitable Agriculture, will take place February 16-18.
“Demand for local farm products has grown in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” states Megan Bruch Leffew, UT Extension specialist with the Center. “Consumers have sought out farmers as grocery store inventory was low or as a means to reduce risk of contracting the virus from shopping in stores. Farmers shifted products from wholesale sales from restaurants, for example, as demand from that market channel plummeted, to direct-to-consumer sales. Farmers markets, pick-your-own produce, community supported agriculture subscriptions, on-farm retail sales and pre-order with curb-side pickup all experienced growth as consumers became more interested in alternative ways to stock their kitchens and pantries.”
To support farmers in maintaining and building relationships with customers interested in buying directly from the farm, this three-evening event will include online sessions about social media strategies, maximizing your marketing resources, creating value added products and customer retention. The last evening is a producer panel featuring several farms discussing their personal marketing experiences and strategies.
The summit is free and open to the public. Webinars are scheduled for February 16, 17 and 18 at 7 p.m. EST/6 p.m. CST. To register, visit 2021directagmarketingminisummit.eventbrite.com. Learn more about the Agriculture Direct Marketing Summit at kyhortcouncil.org/direct-ag-marketing-summit/.
In addition to the UT Center for Profitablbe Agriculture, this multi-state event is hosted by the Kentucky Center for Ag and Rural Development (KCARD), Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA), Kentucky Farm Bureau, University of Kentucky Center for Crop Diversification, the Kentucky Horticulture Council and University of Kentucky Department of Agricultural Economics.