Producers received education on concepts of marketing. We targeted the BlackBelt region of Alabama and producers who predominately grow fruits and vegetables. Project included specific education on the importance of (i) direct to consumer sales (ii) understanding the advantages of marketing with social media and (iii) selling through government assistance programs such as SNAP.
Direct marketing is important to all size farms in regards to their rates of survival (USDA statistics). Social media can increase the scope and scale of potential buyers with relatively low cost. Lastly, the project's targeted regions have government assistance programs available to a significant portion of its citizens (Alabama Department of Human Resources). Presenters gave information on the local market opportunities; how to be an effective promoter and certification/acceptance processes for government assistance vouchers.
- 99% of post-workshop respondents indicated they would use the information presented to improve their profits / savings and that they were either 'satisfied' or 'extremely satisfied' with the training.
- 85% of 6 month follow-up respondents said the information helped increase their sales, with 83% of those respondents indicating an increase between 1 - 50%. We take pride in these results and want to continue to work with Alabama producers.