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onsumers have become more interested in reconnecting with their food and the farmers that produce it. This has sparked the growth of the local food movement into a multi-billion dollar industry in Florida. Extension agents can use this curriculum to help producers make informed choices about promoting their farms and specialty crops. The six modules can be taught individually or together and includes a PowerPoint, suggested script, activities, resources, and an evaluation.

Local citrus farmer

Positioning specialty crops as local

Faculty: Joy Rumble Funded by: Specialty Crop Block Grant (USDA and Florida Department for Agriculture and Consumer Services) Suggested citation: Rumble, J. N., Gay, K. D., Stokes, P., Raulerson, R., & Telg, R. (2016). Promoting specialty crops as local. University of Florida IFAS Extension. Retrieved from http://www.piecenter.com/training/local/ One of the main reasons consumers purchase local food is because they can interact directly with the producer. Producers who can effectively communicate with consumers about their farm, products, and practices have an advantage when marketing and selling to those consumers. Being able to discern what local food consumers will purchase, the factors influencing consumer purchases, and where they will purchase local food will influence which producers are successful in capturing this market. Overview (for agents)  Promotional plan  Overall evaluation

 

Training materials

  • Module 1: What do people think about locally grown food?

    More people are buying locally grown food, but why? This module takes a look at the characteristics of local food that appeal to consumers and how consumers define “local” when it comes to food. Understanding these characteristics and definitions of local food will help you communicate with consumers and relate to them on a more personal level. Instructor document  Participant worksheets  PowerPoint presentation
  • Module 2: Why do people buy local food and where do they buy it?

    Getting involved in the local food industry can be lucrative for producers. However, breaking into a new industry requires doing some homework first. This module introduces you to the local food purchasing habits of consumers. By having a better understanding of the factors that influence consumer purchasing of local food, you can create better communication and marketing strategies, which can make or break your new business venture. Instructor document  Participant worksheets  PowerPoint presentation
  • Module 3: What are the best words and images to use?

    The look, feel, and appeal of your product or, your product messaging, ultimately affects whether consumers buy your product and if they become regular customers. This module will present methods to create effective messages about your locally produced food and farm that will resonate with consumers. Instructor document  Participant worksheets  PowerPoint presentation
  • Module 4: How do you get your message out to consumers?

    A variety of product marketing methods are available to you, but it can be overwhelming to make decisions about which media channels, marketing schemes, product labels, and branding programs are the best for your product and farm. The purpose of this module is to help guide you in making informed choices about your marketing strategies. Instructor document  Participant worksheets  PowerPoint presentation
  • Module 5: How do you talk to consumers about your locally grown food? (Part 1)

    It seems like people are less connected to agriculture today, yet in recent years consumers have become more interested in learning about their food and farmers. Producers and consumers do not always speak the same language though and at times, the public and the agricultural industry have struggled to understand each other. This module will equip you to use key communication strategies to improve producer and consumer relations. Instructor document  Participant worksheets  PowerPoint presentation
  • Module 6: How do you talk to consumers about your locally grown food? (Part 2)

    It seems like people are less connected to agriculture today; yet in recent years consumers have become more interested in learning about their food and farmers. Producers and consumers do not always speak the same language though and at times, the public and the agricultural industry have struggled to understand each other. This module will equip you to tell your story to improve producer and consumer relations. Instructor document  Participant worksheets PowerPoint presentation