Marketers. Mechanics. Crop Scouts. These are just some of the hats farmers wear today. Attendees at the 2012 NAMA Boot Camp heard about the many roles farmers play firsthand in a fast-paced kickoff video produced by SFP Productions.
The conversation continued with the beloved producers panel, as farmers from the Midwest and Southwest discussed the factors that influence their purchasing decisions, the challenges they face and how agri-marketers can best serve them with information and offers.
Information was critical, and panelists agreed that rich content was the best use for Facebook and websites. Trust was a recurring theme, and panelists said knowledgeable chemical, seed and equipment reps and extension personnel were their allies in buying decisions.
Conversations during the refreshment break before the morning breakout sessions centered on the ag tour held the day before. Attendees who made it to Kansas City early had the chance to visit Jowler Creek Winery, Green Dirt Farms and Shoal Creek Land and Cattle.
Morning breakouts on the first day of Boot Camp tackled row crops and crisis management communications. Both were basic enough to introduce greenhorns to new terminology, but the presenters were experienced enough to thoughtfully answer the in-depth questions of more seasoned audience members.
NAMA leaders shared how to best take advantage of NAMA membership during the luncheon, and afternoon breakouts looked at livestock production, the history of the cooperative and best practices for using social media wisely to meet business objectives.
Day two began with a discussion of “the Media Mix” and how lines are blurred in today’s communications environment. Panelists urged the audience to think of creating “communications plans” rather than “advertising plans” and to get comfortable thinking outside the box because there’s no single solution to every communications challenge.
A final session, “From the Farm and Back Again,” provided the perfect ending for Boot Camp. Panelists discussed their adventures going from the farm, to the agency and marketing world and back to getting their hands dirty on the farm again.
If you couldn’t make it to Boot Camp this year, never fear. NAMA hosts this annual event every fall to get new hires in agri-marketing up and running and help seasoned pros get a handle on new trends in the industry. Keep an eye on nama.org for next year’s schedule.