Tips for Growing Digital


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Many farming operations are directly marketing products and agritourism activities to consumers through social media and e-commerce platforms.​


​SPRING HILL, Tenn. – Eighty-seven percent of American adults use the Internet to search for information, make product purchases, and connect with family, friends, customers and colleagues. Farmers have taken notice. 

Many farming operations are directly marketing products and agritourism activities to consumers through social media and e-commerce platforms. To help up their game, the University of Tennessee Center for Profitable Agriculture (CPA) is presenting a series of workshops designed to help farmers and farmers market representatives take their online marketing efforts to the next level.

“The Growing Digital workshops will help participants learn, evaluate and implement advanced online marketing strategies. Potential participants are invited to choose one, two or all three workshops to help efficiently and effectively reach potential customers and make sales transactions,” says Megan Leffew, marketing specialist for the CPA.

The workshops are divided into three main topics:

Advanced Social Media

E-commerce

Video Content Creation and Marketing

An advanced social media workshop will kick off the Growing Digital series. This workshop goes beyond the basics. Gavin Baker from the digital marketing agency Baker Labs and CPA’s Leffew will share the newest trends in social media, advanced strategies to make the most of social media marketing efforts, ideas for social media content and how to analyze the effectiveness of strategies employed. The workshop will be held three times, with materials being repeated at each date and location. The workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time on November 16 in Knoxville, November 17 in Murfreesboro and November 18 in Milan. Registration is required by November 7. 

The e-commerce workshop will also be repeated three times. It is designed to help participants determine if e-commerce is right for their farm. Workshop organizer and CPA marketing specialist Chuck Grigsby says, “Instructors will compare available software options, describe benefits and challenges of selling products online and share considerations for adopting e-commerce as a direct marketing strategy. A panel of operators experienced in selling their products using e-commerce will also share their perspectives.” 

The e-commerce workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. local time on December 7 in Milan, December 8 in Nashville and December 9 in Knoxville. Registration is required by November 28.

The final workshop in the series will be held six times in January 2017. Video Content Creation and Marketing will explore shooting, editing and promoting videos to market farm products and services. Participants will practice techniques using an I-Pad and the iMovie app (provided for use at the workshop). Early registration is suggested as space is limited in these sessions. This workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time on January 5 in Milan, January 6 in Clarksville, January 11 in White Pine, January 12 in Athens, January 19 in McMinnville and January 26 in Spring Hill. Register for Milan and Clarksville by December 21, 2016; for White Pine and Athens by January 2, 2017; for McMinnville by January 9, 2017; and for Spring Hill by January 16, 2017.

Pre-registration and pre-payment of $20 per person per event is required by the deadlines listed. Lunch will be provided. Workshop location information will be emailed to registered participants the week prior to the workshops. Register online now at https://tiny.utk.edu/GrowingDigital

Funding for these workshops has been provided, in part, through the Southern Extension Risk Management Education Center and the United States Department of Agriculture. These workshops fulfill a Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program requirement in only the Producer Diversification Sectors: Fruits and Vegetables, Agritourism, and Value-Added.

The Center for Profitable Agriculture is a joint effort of University of Tennessee Extension and the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation. Learn more about these workshops and other resources offered by the Center for Profitable Agriculture at the CPA website: ag.tennessee.edu/cpa

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. ag.tennessee.edu 

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Contact:

Megan Leffew, Center for Profitable Agriculture, 931-486-2777, mleffew@utk.edu​


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