Member Business Development Resources

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CFVGA Lunch and Learn Webinar:   Agritourism 101: Learn the basics about agritourism and how it may help 
diversify your operation | January 12, 2017 (49 minutes)


  1. Agritourism = tourists/travelers want an engaging, authentic rural experience and may not first think of it as agritourism
  2. Examples: farm dinners, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, yoga on the ranch, hunting, bird watching, weddings
  3. Why agritourism? Travelers are generations removed from farm and ranch and often yearn for this connection to the source of their food.   Producers can get new income streams and diversify their business (reduce risk) and create an opportunity for new generation in the farm family to create income
  4. Number in Colorado: 864 farms in 2012 up from 679 in 2007
  5. CSU survey on Colorado agritourism: enterprises open about 171 days/yr; 4,600 visitors per year per operation (10 – 40,000 range), 60% local, 21% out of state, and 3% international
  6. Most visitors want to purchase a product on the farm/ranch to take with them (food, beverage, souvenirs, etc.)
  7. Questions to ask
    1. What resources in community available to you?
    2. Are you the right person for job?
    3. What is the risk tolerance of your business, your partner, etc.?
    4. What are the risks and how can you manage them?
    5. What is allowed per zoning in your area?
  8. List on Colo tourism office website


Business Planning and Management

Planning and Recordkeeping
Market Channel Assessment
CFVGA Lunch and Learn Webinar:   Exploring the Performance of Marketing Strategies | March 2, 2017 (47 minutes)


  1. Purpose: Increasing the profitability and viability of specialty crops producers
  2. Compile market channel performance data to improve market performance
  3. Data collected during July – October.
  4. Labor logs, gross sales and mileage data collected.
  5. Lifestyle and risk perceptions also included with input from grower.
  6. Growers get customized report for their farm detailing outcomes of the market channel assessment tool.
  7. CSU team has gotten positive feedback from the 20 Colo producers who participated in 2016.
  8. Eligibility: sell through 2 or more market channels, produce growers in Colo.   Bonus:  receive $100 cash
  9. Labor hrs required per market channel, gross sales per MC, marketing profit per MC sales and gross profit per labor hour, and more metrics from the report.
Management tools and best practices
Direct to Consumer Resources
Consumer Trends
Colorado Attitudes About Agriculture 2016:  Executive Summary | Full Report


The Rhythm of Food

Succession Planning



CFVGA Lunch and Learn Webinar:   Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Opportunities for Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers | March 30, 2017 (31 minutes)


CFVGA Lunch and Learn Webinar:   Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Opportunities for Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers | September 29, 2016 (51 minutes)

1. Energy audits give you tools to understand energy costs and get help upgrading your equipment, improve profitability, and take advantage of grant and incentive programs (EQIP, RCCP, REAP, ACRE3)
2. Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency
3. AGEE gathered producer input to structure program.
4. AgEE (ag energy efficiency) program March 2017 now has 125 participants (41 dairies, 71 irrigation, 10 green house, 3 refrigeration)
a. Free energy audit
b. Renewable energy site assessment
c. Dedicated tech support for each participants (energy coach)
d. Access to financial resources
e. Implementation and verification of savings
4. Energy is 7% of expenses in ag sector. Irrigation is over 50% of all ag electricity expenses in 2013
5. Energy coaches assist with entire process: audit, renewable energy assessment, grant writing, coordination of project
6. AGEE launched in 2015. Will work with 200 producers over 3 years. Expanded to greenhouses, nurseries and refrigeration in 2016.
7. AGEE pilot showed 30% energy savings for 74 producers in program. ROI is about 1.5 years on 10 implementation projects.
8. ACRE3 (advancing Colorado’s renewable energy and energy efficiency): financing and tech assistance plus edu and outreach. Goals: cut energy costs, develop producers develop their own energy resources, and create markets for ag-derived energy and fuels.
10. RCPP Colo Small Hydropower Project: hydro-mechanical (uses center pivot TNL to generate shaft power for locomotion) and hydro-electric systems (small scale electrical generation).
11. Examples: cold storage facilities and greenhouses
a. Refrigeration
b. Lighting
c. Greenhouse cooling
12. New funding sources can reduce cost of project from 60-70%
a. $1.1M RCPP (Regional Conservation Partnership Program)
b. CDA ACRE3 $500,000
13.  Contacts:    [email protected]


Law and Policy


Marketing and Promotion

Topics to consider when telling your story
You are Local!
Who you are and why you do this
Conservation (land, water)
Donation Stories
Unique Varieties
CFVGA Lunch and Learn Webinar:   The Co-Op Model and Key Factors of Success | January 12, 2017
(53 minutes)


  1. Coop is a for profit business owned equally by its members. It must make a profit to survive: NO MARGIN, NO MISSION!
  2. 7 Co-op Principles
    1. Owned by people who use their products or services
    2. Provide an economic benefit to their members
    3. Democratic and controlled by members, not investors
    4. Autonomous and independent
    5. Recognize need to educate about coops and support other coops
    6. Motivated not primarily by profit but by service and meeting members’ needs
    7. Demonstrate concern for their communities
  3. Types of producer co-ops
    1. Purchasing
    2. Shared Services
    3. Marketing
    4. New Generation (Processing)
    5. Multi-stakeholder
  4. Keys to success
    1. Thorough Planning
    2. Adequate Financing
    3. Good management
    4. Good governance



What Material to have on hand for promotion!
Pictures (Farm, Family, Produce, You Working, Technology)


Brochure (Who you are, Farm Specialties)

Sales Sheets

Consumer Trends
Colorado Attitudes About Agriculture 2016:  Executive Summary | Full Report


The Rhythm of Food

CFVGA Lunch and Learn Webinar:   Framing the Role of the Produce Industry in the new Blueprint for Colorado Food and Agriculture | February 7 2017 (51 minutes)


  1. Survey conducted periodically with Colo residents since 1996
  2. Perceptions of agriculture over time and new questions added in 2016
  3. New questions: GMOs, antibiotics, hormones, safety of organic vs. conventional, safety of food products, safety of purchase source of food products (direct sale and retail), sources visited for food purchases, local food labeling confidence
  4. CFVGA added: awareness seasonality, etc
  5. Over 90% of Coloradans still think maintaining ag land and water is important. Production valued less than value of ag for open space
  6. Freshness tops list of food purchase motivations followed by food safety
  7. Branded fruit and veg products vary in Coloradans knowledge of them
  8. Produce seasonality knowledge is low for Coloradans
  9. Food safety, flavor and price top list of what would motivate Coloradans buy more Colorado produce
CFVGA Lunch and Learn Webinar:   Radio: Formulating Your Message | November 1, 2016 (45 minutes)


  1. Why use radio to
    1. Get message out to masses
    2. Creates credibility
    3. End rumors
    4. Set record straight
    5. Introduces new concepts, trends and programs
    6. Tremendous outreach (often also has online presence)
  2. 74% of 55 and younger tune in regularly
    1. 3+ days per week
    2. 1+ hour per week
  3. Key elements
    1. Keep it short and simple
    2. Have a plan in mind
    3. Use analogies and stories
    4. Use some statistic as “prove it points”
    5. Remember the journalist is not attacking you personally, they are doing their job
CFVGA Lunch and Learn Webinar:   Leveraging the free media to expand your brand message | November 16, 2016
(60 minutes)


    1. What motivates media professionals?
      1. Driven by info and need for content
      2. Speed of media production is pulled by need for online content
      3. Need to take one news story across multiple channels (print, online, podcast, video, etc.) Newspaper advertising doesn’t drive revenue as it once did.
      4. Website page views drives revenue now. More pages that can be delivered more page views can be delivered with ad views, which drive revenue.
      5. More news stories is better thus demand for more news from the produce industry (growers and shippers especially)
    2. What is news worthy? Many things
      1. New – products, packages, facilities/expansion, certifications, equipment, websites, promotions and consumer engagement
      2. Staff changes
      3. Milestones
      4. Mergers/acquisitions
      5. Recalls/food safety
      6. Trade show participation
      7. Trade partnerships
      8. Marketing agreements
      9. Geographic/locally grown
      10. Marketing/retailer support
      11. Consumer research
      12. Association/industry contribution
      13. Community leadership
    3. Locally grown food content is very popular. Send to media in domestic (The Packer, Produce News, etc.) and regional markets (local news, newspapers and magazines) plus produce associations (PMA, United Fresh, Western Growers)
    4. No need to create a formal press release for media, simply send a summary and be available for interview. Provide pics.  Video if possible.  Media needs images.
    5. 10 PR rules
      1. Suffer the email trap, media work through emails
      2. Think like a reporter
      3. Intrigue not volume
      4. Think about content
      5. Respect deadlines
      6. Know your story
      7. Go easy, don’t call media too frequently
      8. Be current, today’s info
      9. Relationships work
      10. Create and maintain a media contact list