The Cooperative Extension Service has developed a series of videos intended to help growers develop stronger connections to both existing and potential customers.
The videos are at the heart of the “Experience Arkansas Agriculture” campaign, which launched this summer. The campaign, which focuses on relationship-based marketing approaches, celebrated the ongoing effort with a webinar, “Marketing Your Agricultural Experience,” on Sept. 30
Ron Rainey, extension economist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said that local food systems continue to thrive within the state, but that marketing is a constant challenge for many growers.
“The campaign features ways to leverage Division of Agriculture expertise and relationships, and highlights the numerous ways consumers can connect to and support agriculture.”
Rainey is head of the state’s Market Maker program, which has worked to help growers connect with customers for several years now. Rainey is also director of the Southern Risk Management Education Center, and was recently appointed as assistant vice president for the Division of Agriculture.
The video series collaborates with host Logan Duvall, who owns and manages the Me and McGee Market, located in North Little Rock. The series features segments shot at various farms all over the state, including aquaculture farms, walnut groves, watermelon patches and more.
“The segments highlight the diversity of Arkansas agriculture, as well as value-added linkages,” Rainey said.
The “Experience Arkansas Agriculture” segments have been airing twice a month on KATV in the Little Rock area.
“The television exposure has drastically enhanced the campaign’s engagement with consumers across the state,” Rainey said.
The campaign invites Arkansans and out-of-state visitors alike to experience the state’s rich variety of agriculture by learning about the hundreds of direct-to-consumer farming and ranching operations in Arkansas, shopping at any of the more than 100 farmer’s markets located in more than 60 counties, visiting the many “U-pick” operations, patronizing restaurants that prioritize locally grown foods and more.
Learn more about the resources provided through the campaign at https://www.uaex.uada.edu/farm-ranch/economics-marketing/experience-arkansas-agriculture/.