Ways to expand your farm-related business

If it’s time to grow your farm-related business, expanding into new markets is a good way to do it. One way is to market to government through Florida’s “Farm to School” program.

By promoting Florida-grown produce in the schools, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is helping to keep millions of school food dollars in the state. At the same time, they’re promoting nutritious fresh food for students attending schools in the state, from kindergarten through college. The program also helps the local economy while cutting transportation costs and helping to preserve farms.

You can learn more about the program online at http://florida-agriculture.com/business/fooddist/farmschool/.

Of course, you might want to consider other ways to expand your business. Assuming things are under control at your current location, you may want to open a new location where you can serve another geographic area.

You also could expand by diversifying your product line to include goods or services that complement your flagship commodity, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) advises. If planned with care, this would enable you to fill the times of year that are slower for business.

Plus, establishing an online presence can help potential customers learn about you.

CREDIT

column by BAXTER TROUTMAN

BIO: Baxter Troutman is founder and chief executive officer of Labor Solutions, a staffing company with offices in Bartow, Winter Haven, Lake Wales and Arcadia. A citrus grower who served in the Florida House of Representatives, Troutman understands the challenges and concerns of today’s farmer. [/emember_protected]