Carson Valley Meats
Carson Valley Meats is a proposed USDA meat processing facility in Gardnerville, Nevada. Local ranchers and backyard farmers alike are facing a severe shortage of available openings in USDA processing plants and are being forced to sell their animals and close shop.
In a region dotted with cattle grazing in what can only be called a bucolic, pastoral setting, the Carson Valley is undergoing an existential transformation from a ranching community to gentrified hobby farms and McMansions built on increasingly expensive lots.
The Valley was founded by ranching families with dairies as far as the eye could see. It is in this spirit that Karin Sinclair, of Sinclair Family Farm in Newcastle, CA, dreamed of bringing the historic Storke Dairy back to its former glory, with a hayfield on the back acres, animals – both hers and those belonging other ranchers who lease pasture land – grazing in the fields, and a USDA certified meat processing facility.
Housing prices have hit an all-time high, where the median home price in Gardnerville is over $450,000, despite a median income of $47,435. People relocate to Carson Valley for its agricultural character and the sweeping Sierra Nevada mountain vistas. Because of the influx of higher-income retirees, the basic character of the Carson Valley is changing. While the ranching community threw its support behind Ms. Sinclair, the neighbors, most of whom lived a mile and a half to two miles away, fought back hard against her project.
SERVICES: Media and Public Relations, Social Media, Special Events, Web Design and Management, Customer Relations, Project Management, Email Marketing, eCommerce
WHAT WE DO
IPSM was hired following a no vote of the Douglas County Planning Commission to raise public awareness and to help shape public perception in favor of the project, combatting a negative misinformation campaign run by its opponents.
Website: CarsonValleyMeats.com was constructed in 45 days. Our goal: to let Ms. Sinclair’s genuine, authentic love of animals and ranching; her sincere desire to restore the Storke Dairy, and her dedication to educating youth in animal science and food production to shine through.
Social media: In less than a year on Facebook, we have generated more than 512,000 page impressions, 914 page likes, 45,600 engagements, and 27,370 clicks on our content, for an overall 21.23% post engagement rate (Facebook’s average is 3.22%).
Government relations: We worked with local candidates for the Board of County Commissioners to talk through their issues/concerns with the project. We also solicited and compiled nearly 400 letters from project supporters, and prepared agenda item packet materials for County Commissioner meetings.
Email marketing: To help establish Carson Valley Meats as a provider of lovingly-raised, locally-produced food products, we launched an email marketing campaign to promote Ranch Box Deliveries, a monthly online food service. We started at zero and have doubled sales monthly since we launched the service in May.
Videos and photography: We shot video and hundreds of photos in both locations – Newcastle and Gardnerville. Our videos have been viewed on Facebook alone more than 53,000 times. These videos provided the voice and context for our story and included interviews with local ranching families that discussed the need for a local processing plant, and the negative impact on local ranchers without one.
Community Relations: We hosted an open house style event at the Storke Dairy to provide public education and promote good will. More than 200 people attended this event. We also surveyed members of the ranching community, facilitated several meetings with area ranchers, local service organizations and educational organizations to discuss the future of ranching in Carson Valley.