Youth farming organizations, like Future Farmers of America and 4-H, are vital for the agriculture industry and for the hardware retail businesses that supply local communities. The latest crop of kids raising hogs, sheep and cattle are the next generation of customers who will need supplies for their homes, farms or vehicles.
For retailers in agriculture-oriented communities, maintaining close ties with youth farming organizations can show customers that you are invested in local values and can supply the needs of young ranchers in the making.
Here are a few tips on how you can make the most of these relationships.
Supply and Demand
One of the simplest ways to attract 4-H club members or other youth farming activists is to keep their wallets a bit fuller when they’re working on a project. Offer a discount for members purchasing supplies for a project or possibly raising an animal. Consider promoting this discount and offering a great discount around important dates on the calendar, such as the county fair.
Be a Destination
Saving money is always welcome, but being involved in a youth club is about more than discounts. Do you have open space that could be used for monthly meetings? Is your staff knowledgeable about youth farming projects and could host a field trip of children looking to learn? For the organizers of these clubs, the donation of time, space and energy is often more valuable than just a check written as a donation.
Want to get really involved? Work with local representatives to see how they are looking to help further the careers and lives of the students and club members in their organizations. Are there scholarships offered for graduates who plan to pursue a career in agriculture? What kind of training or education is available for club members who are not yet moving on to higher education that can help them improve their skills and knowledge? Whether it’s starting these programs through your business or sponsoring a scholarship already in place, these actions could open the door for a youth farmer who will be a loyal customer for life.
Looking for more tips on supplying the farm, pet and ranch demographic? Click here for advice on how a retailer can support youth farmers, urban farmers and pet owners.