Washington agriculture push promotes home-grown food

The state of Washington wants to encourage its citizens to buy foods grown in-state and increase consumer demand for the state's agricultural products, as well as demonstrate the economic value of agriculture.

The state of Washington wants to encourage its citizens to buy foods grown in-state and increase consumer demand for the state's agricultural products, as well as demonstrate the economic value of agriculture.

"There was a sense that people in the urban part of the state were pretty oblivious to the importance of agriculture to the state, its economy, and its lifestyle," said Eric Hurlburt, head of domestic marketing and economic development for the state Department of Agriculture.

Idea: Agriculture, noted Hurlburt, did not have the kind of positive image "that we thought it deserved." He said the push started out as an effort to raise awareness about agriculture and, at the same time, persuade people to buy locally produced products. All of the products supported by the initiative bear the Heart of Washington (HOW) logo and the tag line "Our Farms to Your Table."

Tools: More than 450 state grocers are participating in the campaign by posting signage and shelf talkers that endorse the dairy, meat, frozen food, wine, and produce of Washington. HOW is sponsoring a radio cooking show on local public radio, KPLU, as well as PSAs with "Did you know?" facts about Washington agriculture on the NPR statewide network. Gov. Chris Gregoire is featured in a TV commercial touting the home-grown products.

Measurement: A local TV network, Belo Broadcasting, will conduct a survey to measure the results of the campaign. HOW is working with participating grocers to determine a system to measure the demand for Washington products in stores.

Company: From the Heart of Washington (HOW), a state Department of Agriculture umbrella agency

Campaign: Did you know?

PR Team: Tamara Wilson PR and Susan Levy of Health Marketing Solutions

Other marketing: 30-second television ad

Launched: May 30, 2006

Budget: $200,000 per year

 

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