By Jonathan Burrus
|A customer checks out SIFT produce at our weekly onsite farm stand. Photo: NCAT|
Summer in in full swing here in southwest Montana, and our SIFT farm is in full production. As we harvest our fresh, locally grown, and organic produce, weâ€™re faced with the challenges of successfully marketing and selling it. And thatâ€™s not always as straightforward as one would hope.
To maximize our profit and minimize our risk, we market to several outlets each week. Several wholesale accounts throughout Butte allow us to offload any bulk items that can be produced. The NCAT employees are always willingâ€”indeed, eagerâ€”to purchase our produce. Market stands, though, have been our best outlet thus far and weâ€™re finding that consistency over the long run is really paying off. Holding weekly onsite farm stands, and constantly manning a station at the local evening farmers market has resulted in a small but loyal following of customers.
It's nice to see faces returning to our market stand time and time again, always so appreciative of the good food weâ€™re providing to them. Itâ€™s even better when a new customer stops by the stand, saying, â€śIâ€™ve seen you out here for the past few weeks but only just got the chance to stop in,â€ť letting you know that your slower weeks were not spent in vain.
The key to successful marketing is consistency and diversity in both markets and products. Use your creativity to find out what works best for your farm. Youâ€™ll be rewarded with loyal customers and successful sales.
Looking for tips on marketing your products? Check out ATTRA's Marketing Tip Sheets.
Anyone interested in purchasing high-quality, local produce in Butte can find us Wednesdays from 3-6 pm in the north lot at NCAT headquarters on Continental Drive, or at the Thursday evening farmers market from 6-9 pm, located at the Original headframe uptown.