The trend is known by different names, including slow food, farm-to-fork, local food or sustainable living. The idea is that consumers want to get “closer” to their food, either by knowing the farm that produces it or growing their own.

USDA continues to increase its support for the trend with its loans and grants for small and beginning farmers.

Check out opportunities in your region to uncover potential customers or new ways to market your dealership to this segment, including sponsoring or exhibiting at farm-to-fork events. For instance, the Sacramento, Calif., area — which declared itself "America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital" — has 6 events coming up.

Mother Earth News magazine is continuing its Mother Earth News Fairs, with events in Kansas and Pennsylvania this fall.

You may be disappointed if you go into the event thinking you’ll come back to the dealership with a stack of tractor leads. Depending on your area, the farms or budgets may be too small. However, one trend leads to another and one purchase leads to another.

Build relationships and grow your brand awareness now to this growing customer segment. That relationship may start small, such as with a push mower or a hedge trimmer. However, when they’re ready for that next step, such as a zero-turn mower or tractor, they’ll know who to turn to — your dealership.