My Focus...

"I want the family farm - the backbone of our country's heritage - to thrive and survive for future generations."

Agritourism Workshops for Agricultural Groups

Agritourism Speaker and Consultant Jane Eckert has led workshops throughout North America.Jane will gladly create new workshops specifically for your audience, working with you to develop the content and examples based on your group's knowledge and experience. Jane is also prepared to present the following workshops, as always, adjusting her content and examples to directly relate to your group.

Workshops can be developed with half-day or a full day content, and can allow varying degrees of audience interaction within either framework, according to your request.

Train the Trainer Agritourism Program (New!)

Jane Eckert, reknown throughout North America as an agritourism and agrimarketing specialist, now offers this intensive, train the trainer program to help these men and women better prepare for training their constituents. This interactive program is designed to provide hands on skill training to the agricultural professionals in your state or organization that work directly with the farmers and ranchers. The program is designed to both improve and grow new agritourism and value added businesses.

The information covered is based on Jane's direct experience with mentoring over 90 farm businesses across North America since 2001. Jane teaches how to evaluate farm business objectives and goals, how to establish the decisions to be made for next steps in growth and to guide the farm family in building a marketing strategy. The program includes time for group breakout sessions and role play activity to maximize the value of the content and the learning time.

Who should attend:
Extension Agents, State Department of Agriculture, RC&D, Food Co-op Administrators, Center for Rural Affairs, Cooperative Development Centers, USDA Rural Development, Travel & Tourism, state Enterprise Zone administrators, Small Business Development, Community College, state Business Development and any statewide office who works directly with farms to develop their business.

Click here for more information about the Train the Trainer Program and what topics are covered.

Get Up to Speed on the Internet Superhighway (New!)

Most farms have now pulled off the gravel onto the Internet Superhighway—you’ve got an email address and even added a website. Now it’s time to shift gears and let Jane Eckert help you accelerate your business with new ways to tune up and tone up your marketing strategy.

Jane will help you understand how to obtain higher rankings on the search engines, bring more customers to your website, and convert those site visitors to more on-farm customers. In this in-depth workshop, you’ll soon be moving to the fast lane--turbocharged with cost-effective e-newsletters and social network marketing tools like Facebook and Twitter. Our afternoon session will go online with Twitter and Facebook and look at how some effective marketers are reaching a whole new audience with very little investment.

Marketing Steps for Today and Tomorrow

In this workshop, I will help you climb two flights of important steps in marketing.  On the first flight, we’ll look at the basic steps—using my proven Eckert Farm Marketing Plan.™ I will introduce you to promotions, customer communications, media relations, advertising, and customer service.  Whether you’re an advanced or novice farm marketer, it is critical to adapt your marketing strategies to today’s changing audience using these steps.

In the afternoon, we move to a higher level, discussing how to expand your marketing basics to begin using the Internet and maximizing your web site potential. Without a doubt, today’s version of the Town Square is online, and if you want to find your customers and to have them find you, you must be using today’s internet tools to tell them about your products and activities.

This workshop will discuss e-newsletters, search engines, and how to improve your search rankings, and I will introduce you to the basics of Google™ adwords to start a successful online marketing campaign.   While this workshop covers a vast range of information, I assure you that you will leave with a notebook full of new ideas and strategies to promote and market your farm business.

Today’s Town Square-The Internet (New!)

A web site isn’t just important, it’s mandatory for a successful farm marketer, and in today’s world, this is the new “town square” for meeting your customers and telling them about your produce and activities on the farm. A well-designed site can make a big difference in cash flow, whether you use it to sell products or to promote on-farm events. Beginning with a specific identification for your target audience, this workshop will look at online examples that enable you to define step by step what elements successfully give your customers what they want to see. You’ll also learn some of the most important writing and design tricks you should know to help your web site place higher on search engine rankings.

Jane Eckert will share with you examples of effective e-newsletters, and how you can target your messages to your loyal and best customers. In addition, this workshop will help you understand the necessary elements to sell your products online and how to decide if this approach might be right for you.

Finally, Jane will talk about search engines, and some of the basics of proper use of Google™ adwords to start a successful online marketing campaign. This workshop is designed to help you make your business " the talk of the town.”

Winning Websites That Mean Business

Today a web site isn’t just important, it’s mandatory for a successful farm marketer. A well-designed site can make a big difference in cash flow whether you use it to sell products or promote on-farm events. Beginning with defining who your customers are and what they really want to see on the web, this all-day workshop will look at numerous web sites to examine step by step what elements make a web site successful.

Learn what you should know to have a user-friendly web site that will make guests return to your site again and again. Whether you do your web site yourself, or hire a professional web designer, you’ll enjoy this fun and informative look at what the farmer should know about web site navigation, writing and photography for the web, and customer communication.

Hosting Company Picnics and Group Events

There are a lot of advantages to adding corporate events and picnics to your “menu” of farm enterprises, and frankly, there are very few disadvantages. In most cases, you’ve already got the facilities and staff in place, and the event provides one more reason for guests to come to the farm.

But there is an important big bonus: corporate events, company picnics, birthday parties, and family reunions all can provide guaranteed income—even when a storm blows through! In other words, you are weather proofing your income, since for any of these events, you can require a deposit and a reservation guarantee.

In this all day workshop, agritourism pro Jane Eckert will walk you through the entire process, from deciding where to host your event, to talking about how to write the event contract. You’ll learn that the more services you offer, the more money you can make: why stop at just providing a picnic spot on the farm—when you provide the food, the entertainment, and the planning—you’ll begin to have more customers, and make more money.

Finally, Jane will show you the step by step approach to growing your corporate picnic business. You can start small, rent what you need, and grow as your business grows. There’s no need for a large capital investment, a big staff, brand new building, or a major marketing campaign. You can do it all. When you complete this workshop, you’ll be ready to start hosting!

Marketing with More Creativity Than Cash

Today’s family farmers have to know much more than how to achieve success in planting and cultivating crops. With the problems they face in commodity pricing and co-op sales, the successful farmers realize they must sell what they produce directly to consumers. But most farmers have not been educated about marketing and the particular savvy it takes to sell farm products to sophisticated consumers. Whether they’re selling at a farmer’s market, at a roadside stand or at a deluxe retail building on their property, all farmers have to develop marketing tools and strategies.

Whether you’re an advanced or novice farm marketer, it is critical to develop a plan to grow your customer base and increase sales. Jane Eckert helped increase revenues at her family farm more than 300% by creating an innovative marketing plan based on the specific needs of farmers. “The Eckert Farm Marketing Plan” uses more creativity than dollars to yield a high return in revenue, a factor which is important for farmers who have a limited marketing budget.

Jane’s winning approach to promotions, customer communications, media relations, advertising and customer service, are all designed to increase revenues, even with a minimum marketing budget. After attending her seminars, family farmers are empowered to make easy and immediate changes for positive financial results. Whether novice or advanced marketers, everyone will learn key strategies to help them grow, thrive and survive for future generations.

Agritourism 101: Make Your First Steps, the Right Steps

Taking the right steps the first few years into direct farm marketing or agritourism can quickly put you on the path to becoming a thriving destination. If you’ve started selling products at your farm or ranch, inviting guests to visit the farm for outdoor entertainment or an overnight’s stay, or if you are just starting to consider a fall season, this full day workshop is for you!

Learn how to evaluate where you are and where you want to be. Agritourism expert Jane Eckert has visited hundreds of farms, and has seen first-hand why certain owners succeed at growing their businesses and others do not. This workshop gives you a detailed perspective of the successful components of an agritourism destination, from the economics, to the enterprises. Jane will share why certain approaches work, and she will teach you the proven, logical steps to take in order for your farm to become a successful destination for customers and tourists.

Growing Green: Making More Money at Your Farm Business

If you’ve been selling products at your farm or at a farmer’s market and you want to expand your on-farm income potential, this full day workshop is for you!

How can you expand your farm business and what factors should you consider? Let Jane Eckert, expert on farm marketing and agritourism, give you a detailed map of the options. As a farm consultant, Jane has visited hundreds of farms and has seen first-hand why certain approaches work and why certain owners succeed at growing their businesses and others do not. From the economics to the enterprises, Jane will teach you the proven, logical steps to take in order for your farm to become a thriving destination for customers and tourists.

When this program is over, you will be prepared to:

  • Analyze your family’s commitment to growth
  • Evaluate the financial implications of growing your operation
  • Look at how adding new enterprises affects your labor situation
  • Spot consumer trends and regional considerations that can lead to increased revenues
  • Determine if it’s right for you to open new enterprises such as a bakery, an ice cream stand, a garden center, etc.
  • Decide if outdoor recreation is a good addition to your activity mix
  • See how adding simple festivals and activities help grow revenues
  • Capitalize on the increasing demand for a family fall experience

Farm Marketing: Stretching your Budget

Every farmer is faced with a limited budget when it comes to marketing. How can you get visitors to the farm without spending money on advertising? Jane Eckert helped increase revenues at her family farm by more than 300% using more creativity than dollars. Learn how to develop promotions, publicity and customer communications that can result in increased revenues. After this half-day workshop, you'll be able to return to the farm with winning strategies you can implement immediately.

Evaluating Your Farm’s Agritourism Potential

The reality of farming today is that few families can make a living solely on growing commodities and raising livestock. The family farm has to look for new ways to survive and thrive for future generations. Many are turning to agritourism – inviting the public onto their farms for entertainment, special activities, educational tours and outdoor adventures. Will an enterprise like this help sustain and grow your farm income?

Jane Eckert, who has talked with hundreds of agritourism farmers throughout North America, will walk you through the steps to evaluate your farm assets in terms of the tourism potential, and importantly, how to evaluate your family members, their skills, and their passion and commitment for a potential agritourism enterprise. You’ll also look at how small, or how large, the investment might be in getting the farm ready, and how to develop a realistic expectation for new income growth.

Grow Profits with Winning Promotions

Now that you’ve expanded your retail enterprises, how do you impact net profits? Grow beyond business as usual – and straight advertising – to special promotions that build excitement and increase sales. Whether you have a country market, garden center, bakery, gift shop, or seasonal retail offerings, learn about winning promotions. Get an in-depth understanding of loyalty or frequency cards, couponing, in-store special offers, partnership programs, seasonal crop specialties, contests, give-aways, classes, tastings and many more.

Family Farm Diversification Through AgriTourism

The reality of farming today is that few families can make a living solely on growing commodities and raising livestock. The family farm has to look for new ways to survive and thrive for future generations. Many are turning to agritourism – inviting the public onto their farms for entertainment, special activities, educational tours and outdoor adventures. The public loves visiting farms and farmers love the revenue growth. Jane Eckert, expert on agrimarketing, helped turn her family farm into one of the top tourist attractions in St. Louis, Missouri. Based on her success, she will share how to develop farms through the three levels of Agritourism from simple farm stands to huge entertainment farms. How do you begin? How do you use your land to its best advantage? How do the family members fit in? From insurance coverage to marketing ideas, you’ll get a roadmap on how to help your local farmers tap into this new travel trend.

Small group discussion time will allow attendees to share what is being done in their regions and provinces.