I’m the kind of person who can’t listen to someone complain without trying to find a solution. So, last April, after several days of listening to a variety of farmers at the conference I was at talk about low or no profits, I reached my limit. And I decided I had to do something to solve this problem.
At the same conference, I met Charlotte Smith. Charlotte runs a successful raw milk dairy in Oregon and she’s been sharing how she created her successful farm business with thousands of farmers across the country and around the world. My friend Greg Judy told me she had the best marketing information he’d heard, so I decided to check her out to see if she might be helpful to the On Pasture community.
I started on her website with her free courses. The first one I took was the one about Facebook posts because I was just trying to get a feel for Charlotte in general and what kind of quality she provided. It was so well done, and made me instantly change my approach to Facebook. Then I looked at the one about creating websites. I didn’t go through the whole thing. Mostly I was checking out what she offered because I’m skeptical, having watched a lot of people get ripped off by website building companies. Again, she passed the test, even giving me something useful for the On Pasture site. At that point I could really see that this was something that could help a lot of folks.
I called up Charlotte right away (because I’m always in a hurry to make a difference) and asked her how we could work together to help On Pasture readers. That resulted in two webinars so far, and some great articles too.
Farm Marketing From the Heart
Now, if you sat in on the webinars, you might be asking yourself, “Should I invest in the 5-week Farm Marketing From the Heart course that starts October 1?” Only you know if the timing is right, or if it’s for you. But here’s my experience for what it’s worth:
The course is jam-packed with information, including templates for emails and blog posts and all the steps to implement new practices. It was like drinking from a fire hose of information. Some of it I’ve already implemented and some I’m still working on. Charlotte knows that it’s a lot to take in, so she makes it easy to keep on working at your own pace. Once you’ve taken the course, the information is always there for you. In addition, you can take it with Charlotte and other students again for free every time Charlotte opens the course. So I’m going to take it again with this fall’s group and work on some new things. Having a group to work with is nice because students support each other and share some really good ideas.
Meanwhile, I’ve seen some great things happen for readers who took the course. Jenn Colby shared what she learned here. Another friend told me that though she couldn’t finish the course, the part she was able to do has changed how she markets the farm’s AirBnB which is really making money for them now.
In general, I’m uncomfortable pushing something that costs money. But I’m also so tired of having the same conversations over and over with a whole assortment of farmers and ranchers, and even with myself, about why it is we can’t make money. So I finally decided I was just going to stick my neck out there for something that I really think could help lots of folks. This is a start in an area where I want to do some good.
So that’s why I headed down this road and why Charlotte is part of it. I hope I’ll see you in class this fall!
Thanks for being part of the On Pasture Community!