'Growers Fare' CSA Promotion Project - Farmer Participation Information
We would like you to join us in a grant-funded CSA promotion initiative. The funding was awarded through the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program Grant. This project is the result of farmer-to-farmer discussions on the best way to collectively organize in order to improve the lives of farmers and economic viability of small farms in the region through increased CSA sales. The two year project is a collaboration between the West Michigan Growers Group, Local First, and MSU Extension. There is no financial cost to participate.
Increase CSA sales for West Michigan farmers through increased marketing exposure to local residents and businesses through website, brochure, and CSA open house events.
Assist in continued development and organization of the West Michigan Growers Group through group facilitation and strategic planning in order to strengthen local grower connections, networking, resource sharing, and education.
Increase CSA customer satisfaction and retention by developing weekly newsletter content and providing consumer education on picking the best CSA farm for them.
Key Benefits to Farmers:
Increased marketing at no cost to you. Participating farms will be listed in a widely distributed brochure, have profiles posted on Local First’s online and printed directory, and participate in a CSA open house event and promotional events.
Access to email newsletter for farm members. This will help customers make the most of their farm membership with recipes and helpful information.
Strengthened and expanded growers network through the West Michigan Growers Group.
Expectations of Participating Farms:
Provide information about your farm for brochure, website, and possibly video interview/farm tours for the website.
Participate in the annual CSA farm open house event on Saturday, March 19th at the Downtown Market, Grand Rapids, and other promotional events.
Participate in the development of the West Michigan Growers Group.
Submit farm data, in a confidential manner. Since this is a grant-funded project, it is necessary to report on the effectiveness of the project with this data. This data could include number of farm CSA shares from past and current seasons, CSA member retention data, goals/ideal number of farm shares to sell, information on the number of CSA shares sold vs the total number offered, CSA member contact information. The confidentiality of your farm’s information will be protected, and the collective statistics will be shared with all participates.
Make CSA members aware of the email newsletter, membership surveys, and other important project information.
Participate in marketing the CSA program and relevant local food events.
If your farm would like to be identified at “Certified Organic” or “Naturally Grown,” please submit a copy of your organic certificate or a signed copy of the Michigan Farmers Pledge, found at http://www.moffa.net/farmers-pledge.html, to Garrett Ziegler, MSU Extension at the Downtown Market, 109 Logan St. SW, Suite B102, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Scanned copies can be emailed to ZieglerG@anr.msu.edu
Sign up as a farm participant, submitting information for the brochure, directory, and farm data. Deadline to be printed in brochure is Friday, February 5th.
Participate in CSA Open House event hosted by Local First, WMGG, and MSUE on Saturday, March 19th at the Downtown Market, Grand Rapids.
Participate in other marketing and promotional events, including the Local First Street Parties, ForkFest, Home and Garden Show, etc.
Participate in the West Michigan Growers Group, as desired, by attending monthly events. The WMGG meetings be a time when farmers can discuss the project and give feedback.