This project from the
University of Arkansas System aimed to help advance local food systems by 1)
empowering underserved farmers and entrepreneurs to pursue value-added food
production, 2) facilitating effective branding strategies, and 3) expanding
marketing opportunities for value-added producers.
We developed an outreach
program entitled ‘Keep It Local!’ to minimize risks in production and marketing
of locally-produced produce and value-added foods in Arkansas. Three workshops
were delivered to 67 farmers, entrepreneurs, extension agents, and students in
Northwest, Central, and Eastern Arkansas in October 2018. The workshops
provided an immersive and interactive opportunity for attendees to learn how to
incorporate value-added operations and implement branding and marketing
strategies for their business operations.
Workshop participants applied to
participate in one-on-one assistance to create customized branding narratives
of their business or products. Nine clients with business operations in
Arkansas participated in the one-on-one assistance resulting in marketing
flyers for each client with color photos and customized messaging.
Outputs from this project
included digital and hard copy content from Keep It Local workshops, personalized
marketing messages and flyers, and a video on how to build relationships with
consumers by creating compelling messaging content to connect business with consumers.