Minnesota Grown members receive many benefits, including a year’s worth of diverse advertising for just $60.00. We’re proud to promote our 1,200+ Minnesota Grown members and their products online and in print, on social media and in news media, and so much more!
How do we do it? We’re glad you asked.
The Printed Minnesota Grown Directory
The Minnesota Grown Directory is published each year and thousands of copies are distributed across the state. Consumers turn to the printed Directory to find their local farm, farmers market, berry patch and more! The Minnesota Grown Directory has been published for over 20 years and is recognized as reliable and the most comprehensive local food and plants guide in Minnesota.
Through press releases, we alert news outlets and the media when local foods and plants are in season. These media sources then interview, promote, and feature our farmer members. Now that’s good news!
Sponsored Search (Pay Per Click) Advertising Puts Minnesota Grown Members at the Top of the List
Internet search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing handle billions of requests each day. For apple orchards, having your website show up in the top 3 results when a Minnesota shopper enters “find local apples” in their Google search box can be worth its weight in gold. That’s why the Minnesota Grown Program has invested heavily in Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising since 1998 to promote our online directory.
Simply put, when someone located in Minnesota or a border city of a neighboring state searches for apples, an ad for the online Minnesota Grown Directory will almost certainly show up at the top of the results. In fact, our PPC apple ads were clicked on more than 25,500 times in calendar year 2015! We have a separate PPC ad for just about every product category in the directory so whether somebody is looking for a farmers market, CSA farm or trying to locate a producer selling local berries, meat, wine, Christmas trees, or cheese, they’ll almost certainly find the Minnesota Grown Directory in their search results. If you’re in the Minnesota Grown Directory, you’re at the top of the list.
The Minnesota Grown website has all of the member information included in the printed Directory and more! Consumers can quickly search our interactive map by farm name, product, city and by other filters to find our members. We also have a calendar to promote their events, local food news, connections to our social media platforms, the downloadable and interactive What’s In Season chart, and other online features that connect our members with customers.
With steady growth in friends or ‘likes’ we reach over 25,000 consumers on this platform. We promote our members, their events, products, and more via Facebook- and have great results! Our posts gain likes, clicks, shares, comments and more utilizing a mix of both organic and paid reach.
Join the fun! Like us on Facebook, check out our page, or scroll on the right to see some of our latest posts.
We’re on Pinterest! Over 500 Pinterest users follow our page and over 1,200 users have viewed our content! We use this platform to further promote our members, their websites and recipes, photos, and more. See our newest pins and check us out!
Pick of the Month
Our email newsletter, the Pick of the Month, is sent to over 13,000 Minnesotans each month. We interview and feature our members, promote local foods as they come into season, announce member events, share recipes, write articles on unique local products, and more!
Interested in seeing previous month’s newsletters? Check them out online here.
Love local foods? Sign up to receive our newsletter here.
The online Minnesota Grown Wholesale Directory is free for our members and connects them to new markets. Our farmer members use this Wholesale Directory to connect with restaurants, grocers, schools, institutions and other wholesale accounts.
As much as we try to leverage earned media, we still need to pay for advertising during key times of the year. With members in every corner of the state, it’s important that our advertising covers the entire state. To reach as much of the state as possible, we use a combination of advertising partners as well as a heavy dose of pay per click advertising.
In 2015, our primary advertising partners included KARE-11 television, the Twin Cities NBC affiliate. KARE-11 reaches more than 60 of Minnesota’s 87 counties. KARE-11 is the first television partner to use their on-air talent to endorse the Minnesota Grown Program. Meteorologist Laura Betker and Bobby Jensen from Grow With KARE have both appeared in station sponsored public service ads promoting Minnesota Grown.
To make sure our TV ads reached as many Minnesota cities as possible, we also partnered with Pioneer Public TV and greater Minnesota cable TV providers Cable One and Spectrum Reach. This allowed us to reach consumers in Fargo/Moorhead, Alexandria, Appleton, Austin, Bemidji, Duluth, Fairmont, Fergus Falls, La Crescent, Lake City, Mankato, Marshall, New Ulm, Owatonna, Red Wing, Rochester, St. Cloud, Willmar, Winona, Worthington and many other cities throughout the state.
Finally, in 2015 we utilized StarTribune.com to distribute our message to more than 200,000 statewide consumers who receive their e-mail newsletters and we also paid for a series of digital outdoor billboards in the metro area to promote sweet corn, apples, pumpkins, Christmas trees and farmers markets.
Minnesota Grown Spokeswoman
The Minnesota Grown Program is proud to have Carrie Tollefson as our spokesperson. A native of Dawson, Minnesota, Carrie was a member of the 2004 Olympic Team competing in Athens, Greece.
Carrie’s athletic accomplishments and her genuine passion for local farms continue to make her an ideal spokeswoman for the Minnesota Grown Program. She believes whole-heartedly in eating healthy, local food whenever possible & knows the importance of serving that to her children. Carrie and her family play a prominent role as we strive to make the Directory not only the top place to find your local farmer, but also a great source of good, local fun!