- Author: Leda McDaniel
Arguably the most important marketing decision that you will make is to come up with a name for your farm or ranch. The name of your business will set the tone for every future communication and will have to be written or printed on everything associated with your business. EVERYTHING. There is no getting around it. It is like naming a child: you can’t change it once you choose and you are going to have to say it and write it A LOT. I would suggest choosing a name that you like A LOT.
Okay, so what’s in a name? Well, for your farm, the name you choose should be able to communicate something about what you produce. It should not be a stretch for someone to understand that you are growing and selling food items. To solve this problem, most agriculture operations choose to include one of two surnames in their title: “farm” or “ranch.” Of course, there are some exceptions; such as using the word, “gardens.” Basically, as long as you are thinking about who your target audience members are and how they will know what you are trying to sell them, you’ll get this right.
Cool, so you can use farm or ranch as your business’ surname and people should know you are selling food items. What else should you consider when choosing a name? Well, it is important to think about the potential marketing success of your name. You are going to want something memorable, usable, and punchy! One thing that might help you out is to think about the name in terms of a product you are trying to sell. Maybe you are going to grow and sell lettuce. You can use that in your farm name. Make it catchy, but try to avoid kitschy. For example, alliteration and wordplay can be your friend, but don’t go overboard. Lettuce Love Farms is great. Leda’s Lovely Lettuce Farm is kind of annoying.
What if you are growing many crops or want the flexibility to expand to other items? How do you pick a farm name? Where does one start? Stick with me, here, this is important. This is your business we’re talking about and there’s no use borrowing names from other people. You can’t just go check out a bunch of baby naming books! You’re going to have to do some brainstorming all on your own. Taking into account the tips mentioned prior, I have a farm naming trick that is pretty awesome. At the very least, it is a good activity to get those creative juices flowing. The formula goes like this:
participle + animal + “farm” OR “ranch”
A few excellent farm names that can be generated via this system are, “Grinning Eagle Ranch” “Running Moose Farm” “Leaping Lizard Ranch” “Laughing Dove Farms” “Crawling Turtle Farm.”
One other way to go is to personalize your farm name by connecting it with a specific place or face (a great marketing tip). My colleague, Jim Muck, who owns a farm in Wheatland named his farm, “Jim’s Produce.” It is personal. It is memorable. It works. Also effective are farm names that personalize the location or region in which the farm is located. This can also provide an opportunity to incorporate some pastoral imagery into your name. People love to think about farms in this romantic lexicon of earth and soil, rivers and roots. Some examples of names that use these principles in Placer and Nevada counties are Riverhill Farm, Foothill Roots Farm, Mountain Bounty Farm, Sweet Roots Farm, First Rain Farm, and Heaven and Earth Farm.
A couple of cautionary notes on farm naming: It is tempting to want a name that is too long. Joe and Jill’s Jolly Berry Farms, while a nice thought, might not be the best choice. Make it easy for people to remember your farm name and they will do your best marketing for you (i.e., word of mouth marketing!). A three word name is a good general rule (or at least a maximum length). On this same note, be careful with how your farm name will acronym. For example, Berry Acres Draw Farms might easily turn into BAD Farms. Green and Gold Ranch, might find itself as GAG Ranch. Also, you want to make sure that there is no unintended double meaning to your farm name. You don’t want to offend anyone, after all. It is also a good idea to make sure that your original name is actually an original idea. Just because you didn’t know it existed doesn’t make the rights to a business name yours. Better safe than sorry, so check it out!
Lastly, I’d like to leave you with my own personal list of top 5 best and worst farm names (all real farms in the U.S., thanks Localharvest.com). Hopefully, this has inspired some critical thinking on the importance of choosing a strategic farm name.
5 BEST Farm and Ranch Names:
1-Chickadee Hill Flowers
2- Barking Cat Farm
3-Wayward Seed Farm
4-Prairie Sky Farm
5- Oregon Trail Garlic
5 WORST Farm and Ranch Names:
2-The Funny Farm
3-Funky Little Farm
4- The McRanch