South Dakota Farm Bureau (SDFB) is a grassroots membership organization established in 1917 when the first county farm bureaus in South Dakota banded together to create the state organization. Today, the organization represents more than 16,000 members and works to improve the personal, social, economic and political interests of South Dakota’s farm, ranch and rural families.
A membership-based organization, the SDFB knew its audience—farm and ranch families, plus Farm Bureau Insurance policyholders. But what the SDFB hadn’t realized is how much their audience had changed, and how much their communication strategy hadn’t. Their membership had grown by 57%, and, in the same timeframe, the non-ag member to producer member (farmers and ranchers) ratio had shifted greatly. What was originally a ratio around 50/50 had changed to 70/30 non-ag to ag members—and everyone was still receiving the same ag-focused newsletter.
SDFB enlisted the help of VistaComm. The first order of business was a design upgrade of their Ag Leader newsletter to a full-color, less content-heavy publication, followed by a name change to Farm & Ranch Connection. Content for this newsletter—grain markets, ag policies, upcoming industry events, etc.—is still just the ticket for the ag producer.
Then, the VistaComm team suggested an entirely new publication—a magazine—for ALL members, ag and non-ag, with a writing style tailored more for a non-ag audience. Town & Country Connection was born. This full-color magazine has a modern, yet approachable, design, and, using a feature-story approach, it introduces consumers to the farm and ranch families who raise their food.