Agricultural Marketing Case Studies

award winning project

Ohio Demonstration Farms Website


Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network

What is the challenge/opportunity the communication is expected to solve?

The Blanchard River Demonstration Farms Network (Ohio Demo Farms) website is part of a comprehensive communications plan to showcase the innovative conservation practices of Ohio farmers and water quality groups in their efforts to help protect Ohio’s water resources in the Great Lakes through reducing nutrient and sediment loss at the on-farm level.

More specifically, the website was developed to provide a highly searchable hub for the research and results of ongoing management practices, serve as a go-to resource for farmers to aid in their own conservation planning processes, and introduce non-farmers to agricultural conservation measures addressing water quality issues in Ohio.

How do you want the intended audience to feel or think after seeing the work? What do you want the intended audience to do?

Feel/Think – After seeing the Ohio Demo Farms website, visitors should feel enlightened about the on-farm research, tools, and practice systems available in reducing nutrient and sediment loss. They should also feel inspired to implement their own conservation practices with confidence in their ability to improve water quality and in-field efficiencies.

Do – After exploring the Ohio Demo Farms website, visitors may seek assistance to create a conservation plan that meets the needs of their land and water management goals or continue to research best management practices to adopt their own practices.

Identify the target audience and provide rationale for why the audience was chosen (e.g. demographic, psychographic, attitudinal and/or other strategic considerations)

The Ohio Demonstration Farms website is targeted at three primary audiences: farmers in Ohio, key stakeholders in the soil and water quality communities, and the non-farm public.

Ohio Farmers:
The demonstration farms are dedicated to finding the right combination of management practices that individual farmers can implement on their farms. Communicating with Ohio crop farmers through the website is largely focused on demonstrating and providing resources that allow them to implement their own conservation practices, knowing with confidence that they are able to meet water quality goals while minimally affecting their financial bottom line.

Key Stakeholders:
Educators such as those from soil and water groups, Farm Bureau and NRCS are important audiences to the Ohio Demonstration Farms. In order to share information about water quality issues in Ohio, website content is aimed at equipping this audience with pertinent resources and information to reach more Ohio farmers and landowners in different mediums.

Non-Farm Public:
Open to the public, the demonstration farms draw a wide variety of visitors. An emphasis on communications is placed on reaching U.S. congresspersons, state policymakers, researchers, environmentalists, media and students in hopes of increasing awareness about various conservation measures and water quality research.

Additional Comments

Key pages for consideration:

  • Resource Library – The resource library contains searchable information related to specific conservation practices that are helping to reduce nutrient loss and improve water quality through agriculture. Website visitors can explore research, fact sheets, videos, podcasts, blog posts, and more – all through the resource library.
  • Practices – Each leading management practice has its own page where website visitors can find an overview of the system, how it helps improve both water quality and farm operations, things to consider before implementing, and additional resources such as videos and photos.
  • Farms – Each participating farm family has a dedicated farmer profile page with insights into the farms’ specific conservation practices implemented, plus interview videos and photo galleries.

Key metrics since July 2021 launch:

  • 1,900 page views
  • 828 unique visitors