The Association partners with Penn State Extension and other organizations by sponsoring local twilight meetings and regional grower meetings. Pandemic restrictions prevented the scheduling of these local events in 2020 but a few resumed in 2021.
One of the 2021 events was an At-Market Workshop and Building an Effective Display event held August 18 at Eagle Point Farm Market in Trexlertown, Lehigh County, that was attended by 18 persons. The farm and market are operated by Steve and Gayle Ganser and their daughter Monica Berghold.
The family reviewed the history and present-day story of their farm, retail market and wholesale business along with their plans for the future of the business with the next generation. They also gave a tour of the market storage area as well as the retail store during extended open hours. In the retail store, attendees were able to study the displays, overall décor and presentation, as well as interactions with customers.
The workshop was organized by Christi Powell, Penn State Extension Educator in Business Growth & Development Extension Educator based in Lehigh and Northampton Counties. She and John Wodehouse, Penn State Extension Educator based in Berks and Chester Counties, offered numerous Extension marketing hand-out sheets and other educational items that can be placed at markets. They also prompted a general marketing and “how to build an effective displays” discussion through their own and other’s research. Promotion of other upcoming Extension marketing events were discussed. Fellow farmers shared success stories and advice amongst the group.
Not only did some of the audience come from quite a distance to attend, it was diverse in experienced vs. newer farmers, younger vs. older ages, and men vs. women. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the stories and experiences explained by the Ganser family, as well as the fun talks/activities provided by Penn State Extension.
The event was well received with positive feedback by the attendees’ present. Everyone was excited to gather to share ideas, especially since this event and many other similar events in-person had to be cancelled or delayed throughout the pandemic with Penn State Extension.