I was working on a grant application last week. It’s a cost share offering from the NCDA that is to be used for marketing expenses. Marketing is NOT one of those areas I put on my list of “Skills Needed to be a Successful Farmer.” But without marketing, sales become severely limited and then it’s hard to pay for seed, feed and animals.
My list of marketing ideas that I am hoping to have funded are: a farm sign for the entrance to the farm, directional sign for on the farm, magnetic signs for the vehicles, professional labels for the duck egg cartons and a printed brochure to highlight our educational opportunities on the farm.
I’ve gotten pretty excited as I priced and planned out each of the items. Here’s the mock up of the front sign.
The best part to me is how much of it will be crafted by local people and family. The logo, which will be carved (hopefully by my oldest son), and the background are to be made out of hardwood. The wood will come from Cates Sawmill, which is about 5 minutes from the farm. The sawmill primarily makes railroad ties out of hardwoods, but since there is always leftover wood, Johnny Cates sells that wood in various ways. He is excited to cut us some lumber to custom thickness and sizes to help out. He pretty much grew up on our farm with the son of one of the previous owners. At that time, there were two silos on the farm, but by the time we arrived, only the concrete one remained standing. The other metal silo was a crumbled heap of metal when we bought the farm.
The lettering on the hanging signs, which can be swapped out when different products are available, will be carved by a neighbor up the road from us. Only the letters that spell out “Minka Farm” will be ordered – they will be more colorfast and easier to see if they are raised rather than carved.
Keep your fingers crossed for us. We should find out next month if we will receive any funding through this grant.