UM holds goat and sheep marketing webinar

The University of Minnesota held a goat and sheep marketing webinar where they focused on marketing strategies to bridge the gap between producers and consumers.

The University of Minnesota held a webinar in an effort to help goat and sheep producers market their product to consumers. (Mikkel Pates / Agweek)

The University of Minnesota held a goat and sheep marketing webinar in an effort to bridge the gap between goat and sheep producers and the typical consumer.

“How can we provide a product that fits what our consumers are expecting?” Travis Hoffman, University of Minnesota sheep extension specialist, asked.

One way producers can understand what their consumers are looking for is by talking to their customers and listening to consumers’ questions. The consumers of today have many questions not only about their food, but where it comes from.

“The opportunity to know where your food comes from is not new. It is still evolving and that connection allows us the opportunity to build that local connection. The connection is real and allows us the opportunity to merchandise our products, but potentially even increase price in those products,” Hoffman said.

As for marketing, producers now have the opportunity to reach their customers and potential consumers through forms of social media. This is a good way to gauge what products or services people may be interested in. Producers should be mindful of all their marketing strategies, while having one goal in mind: building trust.


“Why do people want to even work with the butcher standpoint? The difference is that people want to trust. And again, that is a huge, huge word but it keeps coming up that people want to trust the butcher, trust those producers and to build those relationships,” Hoffman said.

For sheep and goat meat producers, it is also important to note that food is a huge part of culture and many social gatherings center around food. Sheep and goat by products could very well be front and center at events like a family gathering, holiday parties and many other events.

“I believe, as we talk about marketing, that food is absolutely a large part of the culture in our life. It is more so now than ever before,” Hoffman said.

There will be two more webinars for sheep and goat producers on Nov. 5 and Dec. 10. While both will very in topic, each webinar will be targeted to goat and sheep producers. To sign up, please visit: webinars.

Emily grew up on a small grains and goat farm in southern Ohio. After graduating from The Ohio State University, she moved to Fargo, North Dakota to pursue a career in ag journalism with Agweek. She enjoys reporting on livestock and local agricultural businesses.
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