Local and Regional Foods: SERA 47



Marketing Cooperative Extension Organizations and Extension Local Foods Educational Programs

A Review of Online Practices Used Across the South


Webinar Recording

Webinar Presentation Slides

Download project manuscript


What you will learn in this webinar

  • Discover how Extension Services are using Facebook, Twitter, and websites to market ANR, 4-H, FCS, and Community Development Programs
  • Learn the types of content Extension Services are using on Facebook, Twitter and websites to promote Local Foods Extension Programs
  • Learn the key factors that determine an effective website for promoting Local Foods Extension programs to increase engagement among consumers, producers, and communities
  • Learn how to clarify your marketing message for your Local Foods Extension Program to reach more clientele
  • This research was created as part of Sera 47 - Strengthening the Southern Region Extension and Research System to Support Local & Regional Foods Needs and Priorities.
  • This applied research was financially supported by Mississippi State University Extension, the Department of Agricultural Economics, and the Southern Rural Development Center at Mississippi State University.

The nature of the research

  • A total of 25 Cooperative Extension organizations at land-grant universities were reviewed. In concert, we collected more than 30 variables across 1,380 Facebook and Twitter posts that relate to the type of marketing messages used and the resulting clientele engagement.
  • We categorized these posts across several dimensions including, but not limited to, the type of educational program categories marketed as Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR), 4-H, Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS), or Community Development (CD). Local foods Extension programs can appear in any of these categories.
  • We also evaluated 25 Extension websites and present some preliminary results for the Southern Region as a whole and discuss how to improve the online marketing of Extension programs aimed at developing local food systems.
  • We used the StoryBrand marketing framework (Miller, 2017) to evaluate websites and some aspects of social media posts. We used the brand value framework from Bricks-To-Clicks™ (Barnes, 2017) to understand how online marketing practices were used to create brand value for Extension programs aimed at developing local food systems in the Southern Region.
  • We present some preliminary results for the Southern Region and make specific recommendations to improve the online marketing of Extension programs aimed at developing local food systems.

About the Authors


James Barnes - Author
Associate Extension Professor & Extension Economist
Department of Agricultural Economics
Mississippi State University



Grace Layton Langford - Co-Author
Extension Associate
Southern Rural Development Center