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Agrimarketing : March 2008
20 AgriMarketing March 2008 IMPORTANT CONSUMER/continued from page 19 PBI GORDON CORP. by Michele McCawley Consumer Products Mktg Mgr Kansas City, MO Like many agri-marketers, I await the arrival of spring as a business scorecard, hoping for strong sales and favorable weather. But spring isn't just about business. It also sum- mons up memories of the springs I experienced as a girl on our 20 acre Missouri "mini-farm" --- new baby chicks, blossoming apple trees, hunt- ing for morels in the woods. It is that same pastoral vision that influences today's hobby farmer. The average family has lived in the coun- try just seven years and owns less than 20 acres, sometimes as few as three. They have moved for many rea- sons: a better life for their children, privacy and pursuit of the hobbies they love. However, when these pas- sions meet the reality of bull thistle, coddling moths and pondscum many newer rural property owners become deeply frustrated. That's where we can help. PBI/Gordon Corporation is a 60- year-old chemical manufacturer based in Kansas City, MO. Despite our farm chemical beginnings, we are best known for our turf and ornamental products and we grew less involved in agriculture as that line developed. Yet we maintained a farm and garden line specializing in smaller, more convenient quart, gal- lon and 2.5 gallon packaging with consumer-friendly labels. In the 21st century, this line, known simply as Gordon's, has bloomed. Gordon's makes several herbi- cides including Trimec Lawn Weed Killer and Pronto Big N' Tuf. We also manufacture insecticides, fertilizers and PondMaster pond products. Distribution is primarily direct to retail, an arrangement that has allowed our partnerships to flourish. In fact, PBI/Gordon claims the title of "oldest vendor" at Tractor Supply Company and sells to every major farm and ranch chain in the U.S. It is not that we have just discovered this consumer --- we've served them for several decades. When we develop products we spend time talk- ing with retailers and store cus- tomers to develop niche products based on a particular need. As this mar- ket has grown, we have taken steps to make sure our brand stays relevant. We have put more emphasis on formal research and are constantly seeking new ways to improve the products, packaging and labels. We are a sponsor of the Coun- try Living Association and advertise in "hobby farm-type" magazines. In the McCawley (more on page 22)
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