For one class at the University of Minnesota, Crookston, the end of the semester meant sharing ideas to help strengthen and promote local farmers markets. Students in Rachel Lundbohm's integrated marketing communication class were involved in a service-learning project to help farmers markets in northwest Minnesota. Service learning combines academic classroom curriculum with meaningful community service, and the purpose of the project was to conduct research on farmers' markets, suggest ways to increase awareness, and devise options for helping to build the customer base.
Research results identified target markets and their characteristics including the demographics and psychographics of each. Students developed marketing slogans, logo suggestions, a methodology for advertising, and included a marketing budget. Recommendations were made ranging from sales promotions to reaching consumers through print, radio and other media. The students also addressed the use of social media as a marketing tool. In order to determine the effectiveness of the marketing, students suggested possible assessment tools to learn more about market customers.
The research project was the result of Lundbohm, who also serves as the associate director of the Center for Rural Entrepreneurial Studies (CRES), connecting a need identified through the Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (NWRSDP) with students in the integrated marketing communication course.
In the photo, Seated (l to r): Courtney Bergman, Linda Kingery, Chuck Schulstad, Barb Schulstad, and Sarah Reese. Middle row: Rachel Lundbohm, Stephanie Thomas, Josh Koch, Amoy Carty, Yu Cheng, Yuan Ding, Melissa Blawat, Xi Zhou. Back row: Lisa Loegering, Vaughn Loomis, Mike Boebel, Eric Fisher, Scott Steuck; Joann Blom (in front of Steuck); Tyler Roed, David Anderson, Jie Yang.
Not pictured: Kate Holmquist and Jean-Michel Habeck