For nearly 30 years, the Indiana Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee has coordinated Taste From Indiana Farms, a popular annual event in which samples of foods grown in Indiana are given to thousands of Indiana State Fair visitors.
“It’s our largest consumer-facing event,” said Isabella Chism, INFB 2nd vice president and chair of the committee. Last year during the three-day event, more than 5,000 people came to the Farm Bureau Building for free food samples, information about Indiana agriculture and cooking demonstrations.
When this year’s fair was canceled due to concerns over COVID-19, the Women’s Leadership Committee was left with a dilemma: Should they give up for this year and look ahead to 2021, or should they try to do something different?
“We decided there had to be something else that we could do,” Chism said.
The solution was a virtual event called “Taste Tidbits,” presented via INFB’s social media channels Aug. 7-24.
The main focus of Taste Tidbits was a series of social media graphics designed for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The graphics provided fun facts about grain, soybeans, pork, poultry, dairy, tomatoes, fruit, beef, lamb and melon.
In addition, some members of the Women’s Leadership Committee were planning to continue to post on their own and share posts for additional days, Chism explained. Committee members provided short videos about agriculture, some cooking videos and some recipes on their personal Facebook pages. The additional videos, recipes and demonstrations were posted to coordinate with a specific product for that day.
“We wanted a way to talk to consumers,” Chism said. “During the fair, we’d normally expect to be touching 5,000 or more in the course of the three days, but through social media, we were able to touch far more.”