From Field to Store-Front - Designing On-Line Commerce for Wunder Flax

Project Overview

FNC06-635
Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2006: $5,200.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Region: North Central
State: South Dakota
Project Coordinator:

Annual Reports

Commodities

  • Agronomic: flax

Practices

  • Crop Production: nutrient cycling, organic fertilizers
  • Education and Training: demonstration, display
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, marketing management
  • Soil Management: soil analysis
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities

    Summary:

    PROJECT BACKGROUND
    Our operation at this time consists of 110 acres crop land, 50 of which is in pasture and CRP. We raise flax - soybeans with some cover crop of rye and wheat. Since 2003 we have been using bacteria on our ground, for the purpose of eating the toxins out of the ground – if the toxins are gone, the seed produced will be healthier. Our test in 2005 have proven that.

    We were using our sustainable practices long before applying for the grant. We learned the challenges of working on a computer in order to apply this technology as a marketing tool.

    PROJECT DESCRIPTION AND RESULTS
    Our goals were to produce an internet store front, capable of marketing our Golden Flax as a health food. To help in the marketing of our flax, we hoped to initiate a blog with the purpose of educating folks as to the health benefits of getting flax in their daily diet.

    We gained the knowledge of how to set up and proceed to use a blog and internet tools to market our flax and how to inform folks who are interested in the health benefits of flax. Consumers were made aware of the health benefits of flax. Other local producers were aware of our work in creating an on-line store front and may consider adding this option to their business plan.

    We have a better knowledge of how to use the computer, but still have much to learn. It has opened our mind as to the great possibilities the internet affords anyone who has a computer. Our greatest disappointment is after 13 months of having our blog in operation we still haven’t generated enough sales to pay for the daily operation which is only $2.00 per day. Our goal to educate folks on the health benefits of flax are showing 15,000 hits with an average of 40 hits per day. This is very encouraging in knowing new people are taking a bold step – taking control – of how they improve their health. This would not have happened without the help of the SARE grant and the Rural Learning Center staff. Our mentor (Dr. Tom Kilian) still has a lot of optimism for our project.

    OUTREACH
    - We added our blog website to our label
    - Produced brochures to be handed out at public events
    - Had seminars in grocery stores and retirement centers
    - Were privileged to present a seminar at the Colombia MO SARE conference
    - Seminars wary from 10 to 40 people

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.