Increasing Profits

  1. Agritourism
  2. Cooperative Farming & Ranch
  3. Infrastructure
  4. Specialty Crops
  5. Trends & Innovations
  6. Value-Added Products

"Agritourism is where agriculture and tourism intersect, as farms and ranches invite the public onto their property to experience the out-of-doors, the leisure pace, and the healthy and nutritious produce that is only possible when it is fresh picked at the peak of perfection."
- Jane Eckert, National Agritourism Expert

Over the past year and a half, the Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship and MRCOG have developed an agritourism initiative that readies our state's agritourism sites for national and international markets.  We are partnering with New Mexico agritourism entrepreneurs, farmers, and producers, to grow our state's market presence in the exploding agritourism marketplace. We provide marketing and promotional support, training, and technical assistance to farmers and producers.  Additionally, we cultivate relationships between agricultural and tourism entrepreneurs and resource organizations. The New Mexico Statewide Agritourism Initiative aims to promote and strengthen our state's rural communities through increasing farmers and producers' success in the exploding agritourism marketplace. 

Read more about agritourism here.

Connect With Your Customers: Tell Them Who You Are

By Joanie Quinn, New Mexico Organic Commodity Commission

Studies have shown that customers want connection and are willing to pay a premium, not only for the organic label, but also for products that are "local." How to effectively act on this information depends to a large extent on who your customers are and whether or not you have face-to-face contact with them.

Connecting to your customers can begin with a simple flyer that tells them about your farm. Customers want to know where you farm, what you grow, what your growing practices are, and why you grow the way you do.

Do you have a long family history in the area? Perhaps your passion is getting the most nutritious food to market while it is at the peak of freshness, or growing delicious heirlooms that are no longer found in the markets, or restoring worn out land to health and diversity. Give people reasons to support your farm. If you are selling through a farmers' market or CSA, this farm story combined with lively conversation with your customers is often enough to forge a strong link.

Selling Retail

This picture changes when you are not selling to the end consumer, in which case that personal link is lost. Consumers in a retail setting will be looking for some kind of assurance that they are supporting their values with their food dollars.

Many times retailers are also looking for a shortcut to explain the value of the products they sell. This is when organic certification, and other types of differentiation become important in gaining both the best price for your product, as well as a loyal following of end-consumers.

Make sure the retail buyer knows your farm story, invite him/her out for a tour of your farm. This way, the retailer can become your advocate. Even in a retail situation, you can increase your sales through indirect communication with your end-consumers.

Look for retailers who are willing to post information about your farm and label your products with your farm name. Help make this easy for retailers by providing signage, copies of your farm story and offering to demo your products in the store. And, if you are selling to a retailer or wholesaler, follow up to make sure your products are getting out to the consumers promptly and are being handled and merchandised well.

A retailer who puts up signage about your farm, but is not getting your products out at their peak is not helping you. Find someone else. No matter what your market, a retailer, wholesaler or the end-consumer, developing a good relationship- a reputation for reliability, fresh and delicious products, and clear communication-with your customer is critical.

Know your markets and invite the feedback that will help you tailor your marketing to your customer.