Host Farmer/Rancher Presentation Outline

Farm Tour
Host Farmer/Rancher Presentation Outline

One of the best learning resources is a farm tour. Not only do participants learn from the host farmer, but they also learn from each other. Farm tours can enhance marketing, increase local food awareness, and keep alive the farm-to-consumer connection. A tour can help researchers and perspective farmers become more aware of practical grower problems.

Modify this outline to suit your style and needs. Jot a few notes (about one note card) so you don’t forget important details.

    1. Choose a date
    2. Determine target audience
      • Identify resource people
      • Identify others who need a special invitation
    3. Plan Publicity
      • Public service announcements for radio stations
      • Articles and press releases in newspapers
      • Announcements to local offices of Cooperative Extension Service, NRCS, agricultural and community organizations
    4. Organize logistics
      • Food
      • Parking
      • Tour transportation
      • Participant seating
      • Restroom facilities
    5. Conduct a dress rehearsal two or three days before the tour
    6. Put up signs to direct participants to the farm
    7. Plan a post-tour evaluation
    1. PROVIDE THE TOUR CONTEXT [before the group departs for the first field or site]
      • Introduce yourself
      • Overview of operation
        • the physical resource
        • the people historical and current
        • the management scheme
      • Objectives of operation
        • what they are
        • why
        • how being achieved
        • problems
      • Mentors, key sources of inspiration and information
      • Describe your production system (crops and livestock)
        • your primary crop rotation(s)
        • your forage/grazing system
        • how your system has evolved
        • technical details; e.g., equipment used, seeding rates and dates, etc.
      • Describe your weed, insect pest, and disease management.
      • Describe your soil fertility management and erosion control.
      • Describe your moisture management.
      • Describe your marketing (include processing and transportation, as applicable).
    3. THE TRANSITION [wrap-up]
      • How do you monitor your progress and make decisions?
        (Recordkeeping, on-farm experiments, soil tests, observations, etc.)
      • What changes occurred during the transition period?
        • compare costs, income, yields
        • benefits of transition
        • problems transition has brought
        • what’s next?
      • Parting words
        • message for other producers
        • message for Extension, research, federal agencies, policymakers
        • ask participants to complete evaluation
    1. Designate someone to bring late arrivals up to speed.
    2. Develop a strategy in advance for dealing with disruptive or
      dominating people.
    3. Develop strategy for working with the media.
      • Ask what type of story the reporter is looking for.
      • Make sure reporters understand what they see.
      • Develop and rehearse 30 second sound bytes.
      • Provide a press statement for reporters.
      • Identify photo opportunities.
      • Designate a person to guide the reporter.

Adapted from: AERO Farm Tours: 101 Things to Remember and AERO Farm Tour: Farmer/Rancher Presentation Outline
Alternative Energy Resources Organization, Helena, MT

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