Thursday, March 26, 2009

Marketer ‘will work for food,’ barters with farms

As Valerie Gates started seeing business decline at her marketing and design firm in Wellesley, Mass., she started reading books on eating locally and sustainably, and got an idea: Why not offer her marketing services to local farms in exchange for food?

The idea worked, and Gates has taken her "Will Work for Food" campaign national, offering services along a three-tiered pricing system that cover taxes which apply to bartering partnerships. At the same time, she's bridging the gap between rural and urban, partnering with inner-city teenagers to help promote the campaign with apparel bearing the name of the project.

Gates hopes to apply for grants and continue the project, writes Daphne Bishop for The Back Forty, the blog of RuralVotes, but she's still adjusting to the whirlwind new business she's created for herself. It's an odd journey for someone who says that until recently had "never eaten or cooked a turnip," but in it, she's found a new passion: "I also want to help make farming hip, to brand farming as a hip thing." (Read more)

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