10 Ways to Improve the Agriculture Department

Agriculture department: Today’s agriculture department has to take on more than just the responsibilities of yesterday’s.

In addition to maintaining the old roles of monitoring crops, analyzing soil and assisting with new farming technology, today’s agriculture department needs to also help their company adapt to a changing climate and stay ahead of food safety concerns.
With so much on your department’s plate, it can feel like there are no simple solutions.

Luckily, there are plenty of small changes that can have big impacts. Try these 10 ways to improve your agriculture department.

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10 Ways to Improve the Agriculture Department

Visit any major city in the U.S. — particularly those with heavy concentrations of young professionals and Millennials — and you’ll likely find a thriving downtown area with lots of shops, restaurants and cafes.

But while urban populations continue to grow and thrive, many smaller cities are experiencing a different kind of growth:

an influx of new residents interested in making their home a place they can raise families as well as a place that attracts new visitors.

In other words, many smaller cities with reputations for being rural or agricultural have come to discover that they’re also home to large populations of young people who want to stay put and raise families there.

If your town is one of these smaller cities, you may be wondering how best to help promote local agriculture

— especially given the fact that so many Millennials, along with most potential residents looking for places to settle down, tend to be interested in getting back to nature and eating more organic foods.

Here are ten ideas for promoting agriculture in your small town:

Establish a physical farmers market.

If you have a strong sense of the number of young people who want to support local agriculture in your city, setting up a physical farmers market might be the best place to start. Farmers markets allow people to meet and talk with the people who grow their food, and they also make it easy for people to purchase things like local produce and eggs, which are often the easiest items for urban Millennials to incorporate into their diets. Making the farmers market a year-round affair can also help draw in more visitors — particularly if you take steps to make sure it’s indoors during the colder months.

Install an outdoor gym.

For many Millennials, getting into a regular exercise routine is one of the best ways to stay healthy. If you have an outdoorsy reputation, you might want to consider installing an outdoor gym. You can host local events where people can come try out the equipment, or you can make it a regular thing at your park. Many outdoor gyms come with different types of swings and bars, so they’re easy to incorporate into your regular workout routine.

Create walking and biking trails.

Smaller cities are often more walkable than their larger counterparts, but if you’re looking to boost your walkability rating even further, consider investing in an extensive network of walking and biking trails. Trails are easy for beginner walkers and bikers to navigate, but they can also be incorporated into more advanced training regimens. You can also make trails into regular points of interest for tourists: some trails climb up mountains, others lead to historic sites, and some are even designed for viewing wildlife.

Hold regular, free events for residents.

If you have a particularly active city council, they might be able to help you promote agriculture in your city by holding regular free events. These can range from free concerts to free comedy shows to free movie nights. Free events are a great way to get residents out and enjoying their city, as well as give them a chance to meet their neighbors and participate in something they might not otherwise have had the budget to attend.

Incorporate agriculture into the local school curriculum.

If you have a reputation for being a farming-focused city, you might want to consider talking with your local school district about incorporating more agricultural education into their curriculum. This can be as simple as including a visit to a nearby farm in a child’s science curriculum, or it could involve integrating farming practices into a child’s history class.

Host a “know your farmer” event.

If you have a particularly close relationship with the farmers who sell their produce and other goods in your city, you might want to consider hosting a “know your farmer” event. This could take the form of a panel discussion with a few local farmers, or it could be something simpler like a meet-and-greet with local farmers. Such an event can help build relationships between your city’s residents and its agricultural community.

Create an urban farm incubator.

If a significant portion of your city’s young residents want to get involved in agriculture in some capacity, you might want to consider creating an urban farm incubator. This can be as simple as partnering with a nearby college to offer a course on urban farming, or it could take the form of an incubator farm where more experienced farmers offer advice and assistance to beginning farmers.

Offer affordable housing options for young people who want to stay in town.

If you have a high percentage of Millennials who want to stay in your city, you might want to consider offering affordable housing options. This can be a great way to attract people to stay in your city long-term, particularly if you’re able to offer low-cost housing to people who are starting out their careers.

Make small tweaks to your downtown area to attract Millennial visitors.

Finally, if you want to attract Millennials to your city, but you aren’t necessarily interested in marketing yourself as an agricultural hub, you may want to consider making small tweaks to your downtown area to attract Millennial visitors. These can include things like setting up Wi-Fi hotspots, offering charging stations for electronic devices and investing in sidewalk patios for outdoor cafes. If you do these things, you may be able to attract both Millennials looking for a nice weekend getaway, as well as people who want to settle down in your city to raise families.

Don’t give up!

Finally, no matter what you do, you’re going to have to work hard to promote agriculture in your city. This is particularly true if you’re looking to promote it to Millennials, who have been known to be particularly demanding customers. Be prepared to put in long hours, and always be on the lookout for new ways to promote agricultural excellence in your city.

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