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Go the extra mile to promote your farm

Go the extra mile to promote your farm
Farmers need to take advantage of opportunities to present a positive image today.

You get a detailed operator’s manual when you buy a new implement. But no one has written a manual yet on how to advertise your farm. In fact, very few people have even written about why it’s important to promote your farm.

Maybe you rent ground or would like to rent more ground. Maybe you want to develop agritourism, or sell your own meat or produce grown on the farm. Or maybe you just want to help improve the image of farmers. All are good reasons to do what you can to promote your farm operation.

Here are five ways you could put your farm in a positive light. All five of them are based on what various farmers are actually doing today.

1. Keep your semitrucks in good shape.

ROLLING BILLBOARD: When your trucks go down the road with your name on them, their condition says something about your farm operation.

Whether you realize it or not, your trucks are rolling billboards since your farm name is likely on the door. One farmer told us he is very particular about how his trucks look because he wants them to reflect the kind of operation he runs.

2. Go the extra mile, whether you must or not.

One farmer who raises seed soybeans installed a grain cleaner to remove as much foreign material as possible before the beans enter storage. No one told him he had to do that. However, he figures it helps him get a better premium since his soybeans are cleaner. And if his soybeans are cleaner, folks at the seed company are likely to remember where they came from.

3. Keep the farmstead looking sharp.

Whether it’s immaculate or not may be in the eye of the beholder. And time spent removing trash or trimming weeds weekly may not show up in the profit-and-loss column today. But one farmer says he’s convinced that it has helped give others a positive feeling about his farm.

4. Maintain a friendly, easy-to-use website.

You never know when someone is looking for a tenant to farm his or her ground. One place landowners may look today is on the internet. If you have an attractive website that makes your farm operation transparent, it may make a good impression on someone considering doing business with you.

5. Be a good neighbor in the community.

Maybe you want to open up your farm, like several dairies in northern Indiana did recently, just to let people tour them and see that you have nothing to hide. Or maybe you would rather sponsor awards at the local 4-H fair or for a youth sports program. Some farmers have told us they buy a ham or turkey and take it to their landowners for the holidays.

Things like mowing roadsides so the farm looks better may seem old-fashioned. But there are still people out there who appreciate those values. What seems like busywork to you may be some of the most important time you invest in your operation all year.

Summer is a good time to reflect on whether you are taking full advantage of the little things that can set an operation apart. Challenge yourself to see how you can put your farm in a more positive light for a minimal expenditure of time and money.

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