Program Promotional Package

Nicholas Polanin
Associate Professor
Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension
Somerset County

Polanin, N.*1, , Carleo, J.2, , Matthews, J.3, , Boninfante, L.4, , Brumfield, R.5, , Gohil, H.6, , Govindasamy, R.7, , Heckman, J.8, , Kluchinski, D.9, , McGrady, F.10, , Melendez, M.11, , Nitzsche, P.12, , Sutton, D.13, , Wyenandt, C. A.14,
1 Associate Professor, County Agent II, Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension, Bridgewater, NJ, 08807
2 Associate Professor, County Agent II, Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension, Cape May Court House, NJ, 08210
3 Professional/Research/Manager, Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension, Cape May Court House, NJ, 08210
4 Public Relations Assistant, Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension, Cape May Court House, NJ, 08210
5 Extension Specialist in Farm Management, Rutgers NJAES Cooperatve Extension, New Brunswick, NJ, 08901
6 Assistant Professor, County Agent III, Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension, Clayton, NJ, 08312
7 Professor in Marketing, Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension, New Brunswick, NJ, 08901
8 Editor / Media Specialist, Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education, New Brunswick, NJ, 08901
9 Professor, County Agent I, Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension, New Brunswick, NJ, 08901
10 Editor/Media Specialist, Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension, New Brunswick, NJ, 08901
11 Assistant Professor, County Agent III, Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension, Trenton, NJ, 08648
12 Associate Professor, County Agent II, Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension, Morristown, NJ, 07936
13 Editor/Media Specialist, Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension, New Brunswick, NJ, 08901
14 Extension Specialist in Vegetable Pathology, Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension, Bridgeton, NJ, 08302

~~The "Ultra-Niche Crops for the Progressive New Farmer" is a USDA-NIFA grant-funded effort currently underway at Rutgers University.  This multi-year project seeks to teach new and beginning farmers about the cultivation, marketing, and business management of 10 "ultra-niche" crops - those of exceptionally high value that can be grown successfully on 10 acres or less.  Teaching methodologies include face-to-face traditional Extension programming along with streaming video of live presentations to "remote sites" across the state.  Sessions on strawberries (Sept. 2016), cut flowers (Oct. 2016), winter lettuce (Jan. 2017), and specialty peppers (Mar. 2017) have been held in Bridgewater, Bordentown, and Cape May Court House.  All sessions and locations utilized the same promotional efforts: web-based event calendars, existing Facebook pages for the ANR Department and Rutgers Cooperative Extension, direct marketing flyers created in MS Publisher and shared in PDF format, and email marketing through the program’s Constant Contact® account.  In addition, all session and location registrations were handled through EventBrite®.  A full subscription to Constant Contact® facilitated the creation of email “newsletters” which were shared electronically with the listserv of 328 email addresses.  All promotional material also featured a direct link to a “teaser” or short segment of the virtual field trip video that was a major component of each session.  This link directed the user to the project’s YouTube® channel where the 2-minute video introduced them to the subject and the grower, https://youtu.be/TQgD4YpMfhY.  Considering that the live presenters would only be at one location for the session while presented “live” to audiences in three locations simultaneously, these short promotional video segments were instrumental in relaying to the potential audience the quality and scope of the presentations.  Eventbrite® registration data revealed the four sessions had a total of 232 attendees, the most popular being the cut flower session (71) followed by the winter lettuce (60).  In addition to the live audiences, the project’s promotional efforts have reached an additional 309 audience members (video views) online following the actual session, showcasing the importance of online promotional efforts in expanding the outreach of Extension programming to audiences unable to attend a live presentation.