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Free online marketing workshop for farmers to be offered in Bloomington-Normal

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[January 08, 2013]  CHAMPAIGN -- A University of Illinois agricultural communications professor will host a free online marketing workshop on Jan. 27 from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Illinois State University Alumni Center.

Limited seats are available for the workshop, which is open to those involved or interested in marketing an agricultural business. Preference will be given to beginning farmers and ranchers who have less than 10 years experience in their enterprise.

Katie Abrams, University of Illinois assistant professor in agricultural communications, will lead the training session. She will lead interactive tutorials for creating and maintaining a successful online marketing presence.

"Recent data show farms with a good social media presence have higher profits," Abrams said. "This training will help beginning farmers and ranchers start up or revamp their online presence and equip them with business-based strategies for online marketing."

A complimentary lunch will be provided.

Interested parties must complete the online registration form to reserve their spot in advance. The form can be found at the project's website,

Computers will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring any laptops, tablets or mobile devices they might use to help market their business.

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This program is part of an initiative funded by a grant from the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher program, aiming to help producers better market their products and businesses online. Workshops are being conducted at various locations across Illinois, Texas and Georgia. Online classes are being developed for launch later this year.

For more information on the Jan. 27 training, other workshops or the Beyond the Farm Gate project, contact Abbie Sackmann at 217-300-1679 or Details on future training sessions can be accessed at the project's website,

[Text from file received from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign]

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