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Free Coaching to Aid Online Sales for Farmers
Minnesota Ag Connection - 06/12/2020

Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, and University of Minnesota Extension are offering free one-on-one coaching for up to 50 farmers who are interested in taking online orders for their products.

The COVID pandemic has forced consumers to shop online now more than ever, and the sale of meat, vegetables, and other farm products online has increased dramatically. Consumers will continue to purchase online throughout the this time, and many will continue to do so after COVID has run its course.

However, many farmers who are engaged in direct marketing may use the internet to advertise their farm and products, but are not really set up to take orders online. To help farmers adapt quickly to this unique market opportunity, North Central SARE, the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, and UMN Extension are offering free one-on-one coaching for up to 50 farmers who are interested in taking online orders for their products. Farmers can spend up to 2 hours with the coach, via Zoom, and be guided through the process of:

- Setting up a Wordpress site to advertise products for sale

- Setting up a Google Form to take customer orders

- Transferring order information from Google Forms to Google Sheets, to tally orders and calculate what's owed by each customer.

According to Jane Jewett, Associate Director of the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA), "It is important to understand that this is not an online training course. It's one-on-one coaching to help someone actually implement the system. Furthermore, each participant will also be offered up to 1 hour of additional troubleshooting help after they are up and running."

To sign up for this training, please click on the following link to fill out the registration form. It is at: https://forms.gle/PC83GtMS9FBKgCzq9 . For more information, contact Jane Jewett at jewet006@umn.edu .

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