Local Food Campaign Toolkit

Making the Connection: A Toolkit for Starting a Radio and Web-based Local Food Campaign
44 page booklet with accompanying CD
$29.95 including shipping and handling
Published 2008 by Northeast Nebraska RC&D
Written by Sandy Patton and Curt Arens

Toolkit Cover

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This toolkit provides the nuts and bolts for launching a local food campaign in any region in the country. It utilizes the ground-breaking "Farm to Family Connection" radio and web-based local food promotional campaign begun in 2004 by a group of family farmers, supportive sponsors and a local radio station in Yankton, SD. After nearly 300 programs and a strong track record for articulating the locally raised food message to area consumers, this program has become a beacon and guidepost for farmers, farm organizations, farmers markets and local radio stations who want to replicate the project in their own vicinities.

This booklet and accompanying CD provide examples and ideas, transcripts and tried and true guidelines for utilizing varied media sources to drive home the local food message.

Locally raised food is healthy, nutritious and economically beneficial to specific regions and the family farmers who live and work there. It provides a connection with consumers not only to the food they eat, but also to the land where it is grown and the families who raise that food.

That is what this project and this toolkit are all about - connecting people with their food.

For more information, contact Northeast Nebraka RC&D, 702 E. Park Ave., Plainview, NE 68769 or call 402-582-4866.

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PLAINVIEW, Neb. – Farmers who direct market their locally raised food and farm products need to connect with potential customers. Consumers want to connect with the folks raising their food. Now, a new toolkit released this month, will help bring farmers and customers together.

Sandy Patton, Royal, Neb., and Curt Arens, Crofton, Neb., directors of the Farm to Family Connection Project, have penned a 44-page booklet, with accompanying CD, offering innovative ideas to family farmers and direct marketing farm organizations about how to reach customers through radio programs and website development.

Their toolkit, "Making the Connection: A Toolkit for Starting a Radio and Web-based Local Food Campaign," was published by Northeast Nebraska Resource, Conservation and Development (RC&D) Council, with assistance from a grant from W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The toolkit tells the story of "Farm to Family Connection," a weekly radio program touting family farmers in northeast Nebraska and southeast South Dakota who direct market food and farm products. The show airs on Thursdays on KKYA, 93.1 FM and its sister station, KYNT, 1450 AM, headquartered in Yankton, SD.

"In today’s world of industrialized agriculture, where consumers of food are disconnected for the most part from the food they bring home for table fare," Patton and Arens write in the booklet’s introduction, "it has become increasingly difficult to tell the story of family farmers."

Since first airing in March 2004, "Farm to Family Connection" has run over 250 programs, highlighting the products and farm stories of hundreds of families and rural communities. A companion website, www.farmtofamily.net, lists a local food directory, as well as recipes, program transcripts and audio clips, and tips for farmers and consumers.

"We hope this booklet and accompanying CD provide technical assistance, and encourage others to replicate our local food efforts in other parts of the nation and beyond," write Patton and Arens.

The Farm to Family Connection Project has enhanced and expanded the radio and website aspects of their local food campaign. Project directors have also surveyed farmers and farmers market vendors, as well as health care professionals, gauging how effective such a radio and website campaign is in bringing about the locally raised food message in a positive and compelling way.

Results of surveys, practical tips for starting similar radio programs elsewhere and low cost advertising ideas for family farmers and direct marketers are available through the booklet and CD.

The introduction concludes, "If local food systems are to gain support, they need to keep up with the demand, and they need to promote their most important aspects, the talented and hardworking families involved in raising and marketing local food."

"Making the Connection: A Toolkit for Starting a Radio and Web-based Local Food Campaign" is available for $22.95 plus sales tax, shipping and handling from Northeast Nebraska RC&D, 702 E. Park Ave., Plainview, NE 68769 or call (402) 582-4866. Downloadable order forms are available at www.farmtofamily.net.

Our Sponsors
Avera Sacred Heart Hospital
Art Kathol Appliance
Bow Valley, NE
Husker Ag, LLC
Plainview, Nebraska
Avera Sacred Heart Hospital, Yankton, SD
Doyle Stevens Construction, Crofton, Nebraska
Autumn Wind Assisted Living, Yankton, SD

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