Want to thank your landlords, showcase a new building or share agriculture with your neighbors? If so, consider hosting an event on your farm. The focus of an event is to build relationships and leave a positive and memorable impression.
To be successful, proper execution is key, according to dairy producer Ron Brooks and his daughter, Zoey, of Brooks Farms in Waupaca, Wis.
“Christmas, birthday parties, you name it—we loved to decorate and throw a party,” says Zoey, the farm’s chief operations officer, who organizes on-farm events and is one of four sisters. “It’s how we grew up.” Her off-farm sisters, Alyssa, Kelsey and Sydney, assist and give advice.
In 2015, the family hosted a Conservation Day celebration in honor of Ron, who had been awarded Conservation Farmer of the Year. The event included hay-wagon tours of the dairy and cropland and a meal. As the events have grown, the family has started using its shop and renting tables, chairs and linens. Zoey adds fresh flowers and decorations to make the shop look more like an event venue.
In mid-September this year, the family held an open house for its new dairy facility. “We had about 800 people out to the farm,” Zoey says. Ron is a pilot, and when he’s not flying, they park cars along the airstrip between two freestall barns.
Sponsors can take events to the next level, Zoey adds. At the open house, the builders for the new facility sponsored the beer, and the family’s banker sponsored the roasted pig purchased at the county fair.
“The open house was to showcase all the work the builders did, so we encouraged them to bring their displays, signs and handouts to make it worth their while and hopefully get a few more customers,” she says.
Don’t scrimp to show appreciation, adds Carolyn Evans, a retail consultant, writing at Staples.com.
“Host a cost-effective event by spending wisely,” Evans writes. “That’s the best way to make the event pay off.”