May 24, 2022
In 2022, Marketing Monday is focusing on how to turn your audience into a community. This week, Special Guest Laura Jensen of Jensen Reserve (www.jensenreserve.com
), the American Meishan Breeders Association (www.meishanbreeders.com
), and Meishan Preservation (www.meishanpreservation.com
) joins Brittany Sweeney and Samantha Gasson to chat about marketing tips and resources for small farms and heritage breeders.
Laura Jensen—President of the American Meishan Breeders Association, Meishan Preservation lead activist, and is the principal operator at Jensen Reserve— a farm-based artisan foods producer and provider. Living and working just 43 miles outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, two daughters, 4dogs, small flock of chickens, and dozens of Meishan pigs, Laura works completely hands on in these demanding fields, all of which require focused decision-making skills at every turn. As if that all were not enough, Laura represents a beneficial movement in the agricultural industry as she is one of the female principal operators who comprise just 14% of a predominantly male industry.
Laura’s rare position is informed by the active training she received growing up in northern North Carolina on her grandfather’s 60-acre cattle farm. There, fresh gardens produced enough food to feed Laura’s extended family as well as giving her community access to healthfully grown fruits and vegetables. Of this experience, Laura recalls “riding with my grandfather on a route with the bed of his truck fully loaded with vegetables we grew every summer." The memory profoundly affects her life and goals. Wisely choosing to provide her children with the same practical foundational experience, Laura and her husband Bill invested in their own working farm in 2013.
Co-host Samantha Gasson joined the FACT team in 2019 as coordinator of the Mentorship Program and as part of the Humane Farming program in 2021. She also owns and operates Bull City Farm with her husband and kids in the piedmont of North Carolina, where they raise pork, dairy cows, turkeys, layers, lamb and a geriatric emu named George. The farm is part of A Greener World’s Animal Welfare Approved program, which is the cornerstone of their farming business. In addition to raising food for her community, Samantha is committed to education, especially when it comes to farming. The farm holds summer camps for kids yearly and adult classes on cheese and sausage making. Samantha also holds a BS in Biology from Virginia Tech University.