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Grow Your Direct-to-Consumer Farm Sales with Pick Tennessee Products

TDA and UT Extension Will Show You How at November Seminars

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — In November, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Business Development Division and University of Tennessee Extension are teaming up to offer seminars to help farmers marketing products and experiences directly to consumers to grow their farm sales.

Direct farm marketing is a growing enterprise in Tennessee. More farms are selling products directly to consumers, and average sales per farm are increasing. Data from the 2017 United States Census of Agriculture ranked Tennessee twelfth in the nation for the number of farms selling products directly to consumers for human consumption, twenty-fifth for the number of farms selling directly to retail markets, institutions and food hubs; and seventeenth for the number of farms offering agritourism and recreational services. Demand for local farm products and experiences has seen even greater growth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Using Direct Marketing and Pick Tennessee Products to Grow Farm Sales seminars have been developed especially for farmers who are not yet taking full advantage of the marketing opportunities available at no cost from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture through the Pick Tennessee Products Program. “The Pick Tennessee Products Program has been connecting people everywhere with Tennessee farm and food products for more than thirty years,” says Debbie Ball, business consultant with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. “With more farmers directly marketing products and experiences to consumers than ever, we want to make our resources such as website and app listings, social media support and Pick Tennessee Products promotional items available to everyone.”

Ball will be sharing information about the Pick Tennessee Products resources and other related programs of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture including the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Cost-Share Program at the events. Megan Bruch Leffew from the UT Center for Profitable Agriculture will also share Key Concepts and Resources for Direct Farm Marketing.

The seminars will be hosted in six distressed or at-risk county locations across the state. Tennessee farmers from any county are welcome to attend. Registration is free and a meal will be provided at each location. Contact the local Extension office to pre-register at least three business days prior to the workshop and obtain workshop location information. Dates, times and registration details for each of the six events are listed below:

  • November 8 in Grundy County at 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Central. Call 931-592-3971 or email bgrimes8@utk.edu with your name(s) and telephone number to register with the Grundy County Extension Office.
  • November 8 in Scott County at 6 to 8 p.m. Eastern. Call the Scott County Extension Office at 423-663-4777 to register.
  • November 9 in Hancock County at 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Eastern. Call the Hancock County Extension Office to register at 423-733-2526.
  • November 9 in Cocke County at 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Eastern. Call 423-623-7531 to register for the Cocke County seminar.
  • November 18 in Hardeman County at 12 noon – 2 p.m. Central. Call the Hardeman County Extension office to register at 731-658-2421.
  • November 18 in Perry County at 5:30 p.m. -7:30 p.m. Central. Contact the Perry County Extension Office at 931-589-2331 to register.

Check out the Pick Tennessee Products program website at picktnproducts.org. Learn more about UT Extension and the Center for Profitable Agriculture at utextension.tennessee.edu and cpa.tennessee.edu.

If you have questions about the seminar program, email Megan Bruch Leffew at mleffew@utk.edu or Debbie Ball at Debbie.ball@tn.gov.

Through its land-grant mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. utia.tennessee.edu.

Media Contact

Megan Bruch Leffew

UT Center for Profitable Agriculture

931-486-2777