Roy Nilson and Andrew Susen with Cal and Thumper
|"There is something
special about the people who grow the food and work with animals everyday and who keep to
that way of life. We do what we can to support that." - Roy Nilson
We work to deliver effective web sites and effective, low-cost marketing ideas to farm stands and local agricultural enterprises because its in our family to do that. We use the internet and e-mail promotions to help farms and farm stands sell their wares.
We live and work right here, in central New England so when we take on your web site or marketing project, expect us to come visit, take a few pictures and get to know a lot about you and about your farming business. We do not operate by remote control or from a distance.
Your web site provides new customers with a map to your front door. We believe that effective marketing should be affordable and locally focused. We are keenly aware that your family-owned business has little time and few resources to waste on ineffective advertising and marketing.
Each of our web sites is custom designed to be fresh and original and uniquely yours. We use original photography or pictures supplied by you. We don't work from templates designed by others. We help you avoid wasting money, time and energy on a web site that won't get finished or that no one will visit.
Nilson created a website for Brookfield Orchards in time for our 2006 season. Roy
was very fast, helpful with ideas, design, and helping us to understand how a website
works. We had a very good season and I'm sure much of the new business was driven by
internet users. I would recommend Roy's work to anyone considering a new website.
STARTER SITES FOR FARMS AND FARM STANDS
2. Five Page Site - Home Page, Images and
Logo, About Us page, Picture Page, Directions Page, Links Page, Site Registration* and
3. Web site, Home page, About Us page,
Picture Page, Directions Page, Links Page, Site Registration* and Upload, original
graphics and images, 1 year of support,
*Customer is responsible for cost of domain
registration and monthly hosting fees.
Brookfield Orchards - Web site - E-commerce site -
Hamilton Orchards - basic home page
Whether you need a simple home page to help you market your agriculture offerings or a small business web site, our pricing reflects an understanding that your resources may be limited. We can help select and secure a domain name, get you set up with a web host service provider and design an effective web site that reflects your business goals and personality. Call us for more information at 978-724-6662 or send an email to Roy.
Locally Grown, Effectively Marketed
By Roy Nilson
For most people, milk comes in cartons -- butter comes in small boxes. Cheese is found in the dairy aisle at the supermarket. Hamburg is wrapped in plastic at the meat counter, not slaughtered, frozen and shipped east in a large wooden crate from my uncle's Wisconsin dairy farm to be kept in a locker plant until it was needed. Food has become anonymous.
To many, the world of agriculture in New England is nearly invisible. There are few places where large farms and gigantic blue Harvestore silos still mark the Massachusetts landscape, and few places outside the Connecticut River Valley where vast fields of vegetables are grown. Most of our food travels an average of 1200 miles to reach our tables. Much comes from even farther away.
But the world of agriculture is persistent and yes, there are faming families in Massachusetts, hundreds of them. Some make maple syrup. Others make milk or grow vegetables and sell them by the side of the road and at farmers markets. Some make artisanal cheese.
At The Farm School in Athol where my son farms and works the land with draft horses, nearly 2,000 children each year get up close and personal with animals and chores, life and birth and gardening. They leave The Farm School with a new-found sense of wonder. And they often come back on their own for another visit or two.
On your next weekend drive, keep your eyes peeled. You'll find that once you get west or south of Route 128, the opportunities to stop and buy fresh, local produce, fruits, cheese and many other products are plentiful. There's a lot growing here. The Federation of Massachusetts Farmers' Markets lists 117 farmers markets for those who aren't able to drive out to the country - from downtown Boston to dozens of other locations all around the state. They all feature fresh produce and other food items, in season.
Here is some surprising information about local agriculture. The USDA reports that a half million people in Massachusetts work in agriculture and related industries. Twice that number will attend the BigE this year, New Englands largest agricultural showcase and fair in West Springfield.
Massachusetts Agriculture is in many ways a part of Travel and Tourism here.
Annual Travel Volume
Total person trips
2004 Economic Impact
of Travelers on Massachusetts
State & local taxes
tourism merges the world of travel with experiences of food and farming production. A
visit to a farm can be an adventure for the entire family. Many farmers are becoming
increasingly creative about making their farms attractive to tourists by adding farm
stands, offering bus tours, corn mazes, bed and breakfasts, picnic tables, recreational
More than 250 Massachusetts farms offer ag-tivities to the
across the state are one of the most common ways for consumers to find locally grown
foods. Many farmers have transitioned from wholesaling to retailing via farmstands, Pick
your own, and farmers' markets. These options eliminate the middle level cost of
distribution and give the farmer the opportunity for higher profitablility while at the
same time provide fresh food at fair prices..
In nearby New Hampshire, the USDA reports some $150 million in agricultural products were sold in 2002 by 3100 commercial farms. In both Maine and Connecticut, the number was closer to a half billion dollars in sales in the same year.
Those numbers dont square with the common notion that farming and agriculture are vanishing in Massachusestts and or New England. They are not, and we need to work to set the record straight.
The Massachusetts Association of Roadside Stands and Pick Your Own is a successful membership organization that combines the efforts of its more than 100 members to improve and enhance marketing of the freshest fruits and produce on the farms that produce them. We take advantage of modern communications tools and techniques to accomplish or goal of raising public awareness of our commitment to the land, to agriculture, to the people we serve and to the communities in which we conduct our businesses.
Check back frequently. The seasons are always changing and agriculture is changing along with them.