February 28, 2020
Category: Student Blogs
Editor's Note: Catawba College Senior Peyton Pruitt attended the North America Farmers Direct Marketing Association (NAFDMA) Agritourism Conference and Expo in Charleston, SC. She shares her experience below.
By Peyton Pruitt '20
This spring I have the opportunity to intern at Miller Davis Agency in Salisbury to learn the ins and outs of a marketing agency. I have been working specifically with the Digital Marketing Team creating social content, blogs, and more for multiple clients. Miller Davis has clients ranging from veterinary services to septic tank services and they create everything in-house. They really do it all!
One of Miller Davis’ clients, Patterson Farms, is right here in Rowan County. Patterson Farms is an example of agritourism. If you don’t know what agritourism is, it is any agriculture-based organization that brings visitors to the farm or ranch.
While working at Miller Davis I have learned how massive the agritourism market is around the world and that there is a national conference and trade show for anyone in the industry to connect, learn, and potentially expand their business.
This conference is called North America Farmers Direct Marketing Association (NAFDMA) Agritourism Conference and Expo and this year it was held in Charleston, SC. Because of the close location, four members of the digital marketing team, including myself, were able to attend the conference.
The day of the conference our goal was to talk to the farms or agritourism businesses to see if they currently had someone doing their digital marketing and if we could add them as one of our clients. We had a booth set up with print and video examples to show examples of the work we had done for Patterson Farms and other farm clients in the past. Our mission was to make personal connections with these farmers who pride themselves on their business and what they have created. For them, this is their entire life and for many, their businesses have been in the family for years.
We also had the chance to walk around and explore some of the other offerings at the convention which included a slide, homemade pies, and even a condiment cow! It was truly incredible how diverse every booth was, but everyone was bonded by their common love of agriculture.
My favorite part of the conference was making personal connections with the other vendors, as well as the farmers. We walked around with a sign and stickers that said “We❤️ Farms” and took pictures with anyone that was willing!
All in all, the day was a success and we were able to connect with over 40 farms! It was an incredible learning experience for me and it taught me that a personal connection is what really matters. Sure, the business stuff is important, but the connection you have with clients in the agritourism industry means more than closing a business deal. The agritourism business is such a unique industry and I am so happy I had the opportunity to attend this conference with Miller Davis.