To establish your produce and presence among competitors, it’s crucial to plan out and put into action smart marketing strategies, especially if you run a smaller agricultural operation.

One way to stay top of mind with consumers is to go-to-market – a farmers’ market, that is.

Local farmers’ markets are exploding in popularity across Florida and serve as a great fit for smaller agricultural operations lacking the time or resources to invest in an on-farm market.

Participating in local farmers’ markets is, first and foremost, a smart way to sell more of your produce and products. But the benefits don’t stop there. Farmers’ markets are a realm to engage with your consumers more directly, which facilitates deeper connections and greater customer loyalty. Plus, it’s a stage to educate the public about where and how food your food is grown, which can help get more people on the buy local, fresh, organic bandwagon. Lastly, it’s a great way to receive instant feedback from your customers on your produce, so you know what’s working and what’s not.

To succeed in this realm, it’s important to create an experience for your customer and provide only the best quality produce.

To set your farm up for market success, keep in mind that location matters. Successful farmers’ markets tend to be in closer proximity to heavily populated centers. Also, offering a diverse selection of fresh produce and products tends to do well. Maybe this goes without saying, but go out of your way to be helpful. Answer questions. Provide samples. And after customers are done picking or shopping, direct them to other market activities i.e. hayrides, corn mazes, demos, and free samples. Finally, don’t forget to cue your customers to follow you on social media to stay abreast your farm’s new produce, deals, and special events.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) provides an informal listing of local markets for consumers. Check it out to start your market success!

Need funding to support your small agricultural operation? Investigate the farm loan options here at AgAmerica Lending. We offer agricultural loans to support all facets of farming in Florida and beyond. Read more about our special ag lending program here.