Friday, July 29, 2011

Winding Down, Week 11

On Monday, Prosperity held its quarterly advisory board conference call. I had the opportunity to sit in and listen to the board discuss current happenings in the agriculture world from different vantage points. Indiana Farm Bureau president Don Villwock called in as a guest speaker, and I am glad I got the opportunity to sit in on the meeting.

Also, as a follow up to my previous posts regarding Sarah’s photo, Hereford Haze – an entry is the ISDA’s annual photo contest, the winners have been selected! Hereford Haze took first place in the “On the Farm” category. It goes very nicely with the other 11 photographs selected, which will be a part of a 2012 calendar put out by the Indiana Farm Bureau and Hoosier Ag Today. And throughout the fair you will be able to see the pictures displayed upstairs in the Normandy Barn. I hope you get a chance to visit the fair this year and see all the wonderful events going on, especially this “Year of the Soybean”.

Following the meeting on Monday, I got to meet the newest resident on the Aubrey property. I had never seen such a young calf before, and she’s about the cutest thing I’ve seen. Her name is A cappella. She’s precious.

Photo by Rachel Bayless

Monday, July 25, 2011

From the Desk of Prosperity’s Summer Intern, Rachel Bayless:

I can’t believe I only have three weeks left of my internship. This summer has gone by so quickly. My next three weeks will be focused on marketing Starting & Running Your Own Small Farm Business and The Profitable Hobby Farm. There will be quite a bit of email and phone correspondence with Indiana wineries and local businesses to try to sell the book at those locations in addition to the current major sellers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Hastings. And at some point in the next few weeks we’re going to try to set up a face-to-face sales call. I’ll admit, I’m nervous! But hopefully I can pick up some sales skills from my internship, as I continue studying sales & marketing.

It looks as though I’ll be working at the state fair for a couple days with the Indiana Office of Energy. I am truly excited to be seeing the fair from a different side. I’ve attended it almost every year, just with elephant ears and snow cones in mind. But I’m looking forward to seeing the agriculture and Indiana-focused side of the state fair and especially seeing the displays the Office of Energy presents to fair-goers interested in Indiana energy. And as I mentioned in my last post, the ISDA is putting on a “Celebration of Agriculture” event on August 17th. They will also be announcing their photo contest winners, and Sarah’s photo “Hereford Haze” is an entry!

Photo by Rachel Bayless

Friday, July 15, 2011

From the Desk of Prosperity’s Summer Intern, Rachel Bayless:

This week has been very productive in preparing the marketing of The Profitable Hobby Farm. I’ve gathered book excerpts, a press release, and related items that are going to go towards making my very first media kit. The Sarah Beth Aubrey Facebook page ( is being used as a book page for The Profitable Hobby Farm and Starting and Running Your Own Small Farm Business

After about another week, I will be getting started on contacting businesses and hopefully selling some books. The publishers are not easy to get in touch with. But I’m hoping to pull through and make this a successful project! I don’t want to be a flop at my major, sales and marketing.

Coming up in just a few weeks, the Indiana State Fair begins! I’m looking forward to going this year, after having a taste of the agriculture world. Our soybean friends at the Indiana Soybean Alliance are celebrating their “Year of the Soybean”. Check out this post by one of the ISA interns; take a shot at winning four tickets to this year’s fair. And once you’re at the fair, participate in the ISA’s soybean search, BEANGO (like Bingo, clever isn’t it!), to get some free fair food. And be sure to attend the Celebration of Agriculture event (August 17th) put on by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. They are announcing winners of their annual photo contest, and Sarah entered her picture “Hereford Haze” in the “On the Farm” category. 

"Hereford Haze" by Sarah Aubrey

Monday, July 11, 2011

From the Desk of Prosperity’s Summer Intern, Rachel Bayless:

Despite having Monday off for Independence Day, last week was a very full week. For me it was filled with researching grants for clients, modifying grant item checklists, and organizing my plans for marketing and selling Sarah’s book.

We’ve been getting our REAP materials organized. Another year done, it is time to update our client questionnaires and checklists and everything else to be prepared for another year of applications. We are cleaning up all of these items so that the process can be easier than even for next years’ clients. While all of our clients’ applications have long been submitted, we’re tying up loose ends and last-minute details to close our book on the 2011 Rural Energy for America Program grants.

This week another newsletter will be going out. It will contain some upcoming grants, events, and a recap on the REAP grants. We also will have an article of this month’s advisory board member spotlight. If you are interested in being added to the mailing list, please contact us.

Friday, July 1, 2011

From the Desk of Prosperity’s Summer Intern, Rachel Bayless:

This Wednesday we attended Greater Indiana Clean Cities’ Alternative Fuel and Related Technology “Day at the Track”.   It was a nice day, and there was a good turnout. Some speakers talked about the alternative fuels that cars will eventually be using more prominently. There was a "Ride 'n' Drive" event, where electric cars were available to drive and hybrid school buses were there to ride in. We didn't get a chance to participate in that. But it was a nice event anyway! 

My book project is currently underway! I have written a marketing plan, which was something I didn’t know how to do before. But that is Erin’s area of expertise, and she guided me through it. For the next week I will be getting together a media kit and some contact information and wholesale prices and serious information to approach my prospects with! I’m looking forward to getting started on the sales. Hopefully I won’t face too many rejections. This internship is giving me a lot of experiences that I know I will be using in my career in the future. Wish me luck on a successful project. And I wouldn’t be any kind of a sales person if I didn’t provide you with link to Sarah’s books.

We will be closed this afternoon and Monday. From all of us at Prosperity, have a lovely Independence Day weekend!