GFP046: Diversifying your marketing and alpaca farming

It is good business practice to get the most out of any effort you put into your business. That definitely applies to farming. Diversity is the name of the game on small farms these days, but that doesn't necessarily have to mean a diversity of farming operations. Barbara Ronchetti of Island Alpaca Company on Martha's Vineyard shares great insight on having just one type of agricultural operation, in her case alpaca, and getting the most bang for your buck.

While I am working toward a diverse farm I have a main area of focus right now and that is my Chicken & Egg CSA. For those CSAs I am implementing a diverse array of marketing strategies to get my name out there and close more sales.

I am:

  • Updating and interacting on my farm website
  • Interacting on Social media
  • Hanging fliers with tabs to rip off
  • Creating brochures
  • Going to schools
  • Planning events
  • and more...

It takes creativity to try all of these things. The answers to your problems are not always easy to find. I know we as farmers will always thrive in the face of adversity. Now we must thrive and embrace diversity. Remember that different customers appreciate their products or their marketing in different ways. Starting with one group at a time direct your farm marketing to them, then move on to the next group once you have established yourself with those other customers already. Be careful not to take on too much too soon.

There are a lot of "you should do this" and "you must do this" pieces of advice coming from me and in the "marketing advice" world in general. When you boil all of it down it comes down to doing what you are comfortable with (so that you will keep doing it) and what is working (because that's how you are successful).

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In this farm podcast you will learn:

  • How to start an alpaca farm
  • What are all the different ways you can use alpaca wool
  • How quality relationships will help grow your business
  • Tips on marketing you farm products and CSA
  • A lot about alpaca farming

Interview with Barbara Ronchetti of Island Alpaca Company

Peter simon island alpaca s

Photo: Peter Simon (petersimon.com)

Island Alpaca Company of Martha's Vineyard began in 2004 with the purchase of 19 acres of land and an antique post-and-beam barn that once stood in Export PA. Over the next two years, the barn was assembled, pastures were cleared, and fencing installed. The original purchase of eight alpacas in 2004 had grown to a starter herd of 31, which moved into the barn in 2006. Today, Island Alpaca has a select herd of 80 colorful Huacaya alpaca, one Suri alpaca, and one llama.

Island Alpaca Barn and Pasture
island alpaca website

Items mentioned in this farm podcast include:

Take aways:

What else can you do to sell your farm products?

What other products can you develop from what you are already producing?

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Thanks for taking the time to listen in, and let me know what you think. You can leave a comment below, send me an e-mail, reach me on Facebook , or leave a 5 star rating in iTunes if you liked the show.