Greetings from the 2014 North Central Aquaculture Conference in Toledo, Ohio!
Aquaculture is a fast growing sector of our agricultural economy. As this part of our industry grows, we get many questions on starting an aquaculture business. How can we help? We can help you get MarketReady!
The Direct Marketing Food & Ag team is ready to help producers. This presentation is a quick outline of how to start the marketing plan, starting with the marketing combination. The marketing combination consists of Plan & Process, People, Products, Places and Promotions. This program will help you identify your personal situation within the context of this marketing combination.
HANDOUTS: MarketReady Aquaculture – This link includes the entire presentation from the conference.
For more details on marketing aquaculture products, see our website at http://directmarketing.osu.edu
Best wishes in your new adventure!
Join us for a FREE webinar on the Top 10 Direct Marketing Trends! OSU Extension Educator Mike Hogan will give you the skinny on trends for 2014 to help you market your farm. You will learn about what your customers are leaning towards for their 2014 buying plans. Also, gain an understanding of the newest technology trends and what they mean for your marketing plan in the coming season.
The webinar will be at Noon EST on Thursday, February 27th. Simply log on to: http://carmenconnect.osu.edu/dmtrends and attend as a ‘guest’. The screen will prompt you from there.
To read about our future webinars (last Thursday of each month), you can find the details at: http://go.osu.edu/marketing2014
Grants Vs. Loans
Q – “I hear grants are free money! So, how can I get a grant?” A – Grants are not exactly easy, but with a little innovation and work writing proposals – you can have some success!
- Start with a great idea. Actually, make a list of all of your ideas for the future of your farm.
- Do some research. Decide what would work best for you and what has the best chance of getting attention.
- Review sites like those listed below to see what kinds of projects have been funded in the past.
- ‘Google’ your ideas to see what similar things exist. Unique ideas have a better chance for money.
- Write at least a basic business plan for the new endeavor. Do not get caught up in the pages and pages of documentation, simply make an appointment with the local Small Business Development Center or get budgets and detailed information through university Extension programs. You can also find fill-in business plans online.
- Follow the rules. Many times, getting a grant involves being the best not only at writing, but at following the guidelines set forth by the funding agency.
Q – “I don’t want a loan…but I don’t have a choice. Where do I start?” A – Try a low-interest loan program.
- Low-interest loan programs do one of two things:
- Lower your interest rate
- Increases your loan package above the bank offer in order to finance the project.
- Most loan programs require the cooperation of a local bank and you still need to qualify for the loan.
- Be sure to have your finances in line and have a reasonable plan outlined before going to get the loan.
Where do I start?
This may not be a comprehensive list, but is a start to finding assistance with agricultural operations. For other opportunities, please search the web and other agricultural resources in the area.
- The Ohio Department of Agriculture can assist with loans. CONTACT: 800-282-1955 http://www.agri.ohio.gov/divs/ordp/farmloan.aspx
- The Farm Loan Program with Farm Service Agency helps with grain storage and now hay storage buildings and many other projects. It is a lower-interest loan program. This program is helpful to beginning farmers and ranchers who cannot receive loans in other ways. CONTACT: 614/255-2547 http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/webapp?area=home&subject=fmlp&topic=landing
- The AgriLink Deposit Program is available to farms headquartered in Ohio which maintain 51% of all land and/or in Ohio may apply for low interest loans through a State Depository Bank. Approved bank loans are submitted to the Treasury which purchases a reduced interest CD with the lender. CONTACT: Ohio Treasurer’s office: 800-228-1102 http://www.tos.ohio.gov/ search ‘Agrilink’
- The Progress Fund is a non-profit organization that lends money to unconventional ideas for people with good character. If you have a new idea for the farm, but can’t get lending from the bank – they can help. CONTACT: Mark Nicholson firstname.lastname@example.org 814-215-9176 www.progressfund.org
- SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education) Grants are available through USDA for farmers/ranchers who submit proposals that test, evaluate, and adapt sustainable agriculture practices for their operations and related activities, including marketing. These grants are for sustainable agriculture research and education projects, NOT for everyday farming expenses. Grants are for up to $7,500 per farm, $15,000 for a group of two farmers, and $22,500 for a group of three or more farmers. The deadline for application is typically early December. www.sare.org
- USDA Rural Development – “To increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for all rural Americans.” Higher monetary values for business ventures are available through the Value Added Producer Grant program (VAPG) http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/bcp_vapg.html
- Farm Aid – http://www.farmaid.org Yes, this is Willie Nelson’s baby organization. They offer competitive grants to farmers in three areas: Growing the Good Food Movement; Helping Farmers Thrive; and Taking Action to Change the System. http://www.farmaid.org/site/c.qlI5IhNVJsE/b.2723745/k.9953/Grant_Guidelines.htm
- AgMRC – The marketing website for value added agriculture has lots of info on writing and apply for grants: http://www.agmrc.org/business_development/starting_a_business/raising_money/grant_opportunities_and_information.cfm
By Eric Barrett, OSU Extension Educator, OSU Direct Food & Ag Marketing Team email@example.com . Review by Mike Hogan firstname.lastname@example.org
Ohio farms that complement their agritourism activities with inflatable “bounce houses” and slides for kids to play on will soon be subject to new safety standards proposed by the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA). Based on its authority to inspect “amusement rides,” ODA is proposing the regulations to ensure public safety through minimum standards for the operation and use of inflatable devices.
Read the blog from our Ag Law professional, here: http://go.osu.edu/inflatables
And, this is just the start. ODA has been inspecting other aspects of activities at many Ohio farms. Our team will be reporting the details and changes as soon as more details are availble.
If you are a farmers’ markets or direct marketing farmer who is interested in accepting SNAP/EBT benefits here is your opportunity to learn more. Join us for a 1 hour webinar on Tuesday Feb. 18, 2014. The webinar will share information about best practices for accepting SNAP, utilizing Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) resources and available funding.
12:00 – Welcome
12:10-12:30 – Market Considerations and Best Practices for accepting SNAP.
12:30 – 12:50 – Equipment options and resources available through Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
12:50 – 1:00 – Q&A
To join the webinar go to: https://carmenconnect.osu.edu/farmersmarkets
Login as a guest.
To join the audio portion of the conference Call Dial-in Number: 1-605-475-5950 (Midwest)
The Participant Access Code is: 5717403
Anyone who has questions during the webinar, will be able to utilize the chat feature of the Carmen Connect and type in their questions. Speakers will be attentive to the questions and address them during the program.
Farmers’ Markets Specialist, The Ohio State University
740-289-2071 x. 234 Office
Watching the superbowl with a bunch of farm direct marketers changed the way we thought about the game and the ads. We found ourselves looking for themes and trends which farmers could use in their marketing. Here are our observations:
1. Iconic, Rugged Attraction (Farming is cool) – Hereford Bull & Chevy Truck
2. In Your Face Branding (It works with humor) – Pistachio & Colbert
3. The Rise of Health Foods – Yogurt Wars have replaced cola wars?!
4. Social Good (Make a difference, Give support)– Bono, (red) & Bank of America; Budweiser & Soldier
5. Social Changes – Cheerios & Interracial Family; Coke & Gay Couple
6. Staying Power Works (Cross-generational marketing) – Bob Dylan & Chrysler
7. Change (Relating to it) – 80’s & Radio Shack
8. Classic Humor – VW & Rainbows
9. Timing Is Everything (Be sure to plan) – Second Quarter and Second Half ads were missed by many due to boring game.
10. Capitalize on the Situation – NFL sold Seahawks gear immediately after game
How can you use these themes to update your farm’s social media plan?
Will the trends change the way you promote your farm through other marketing channels?