The Ivan Tomato Goes from Indiegogo to Farmers Market

| 12/22/2016 12:00:00 AM


Saving the Ivan took many steps.  In the last blog, I outlined how the team was put together for our first year. The next step was to figure out how to build a buzz for a tomato that hardly anyone knew existed.  As a social media marketer, I knew we had to use social media.  We need funding so an Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign was a great way to go.  We believed that if we could get the Ivan’s story out there, people would connect with it on some level and want to support this fabulous tomato. 


A village came together to make our Indiegogo Movie.  I had some friends that all put their energy into the film.  A film maker choreographed and filmed, a photographer handed us 19 gigs of pictures after the shoot, and a videographer jumped in to help the filmmaker.   My sister, an actor and writer, helped make sure the movie script was effective. Some friends who have a fantastic band, Dirtfoot, gave us the rights to use one of their songs as our music.  This all led to August when we filmed on Jordan’s farm during some of the hottest days of the summer. 

I began to build the social media buzz with the Ivan Tomato Rescue Project Facebook page, create a website and connect with other like-minded groups.  I spent months working on PR coverage of the story.  We managed to get the story into several media outlets including: Feast, Vox, The Columbia Missourian, KBIA, The Slow Food Newsletter, Inside Columbia Magazine, Post Gazette Pittsburg, and the News Tribune in Jefferson City.   Our suspicions were confirmed that when folks herd about the story of the Ivan they were willing to help us build our buzz. 

We launched the Indiegogo in November running it through New Years.   Our goal was $10,000, yet we only raised about $4,400 from 111 backers.   The good thing is that we raised enough to cover our campaign costs and get our first season of plants started.  We also got Ivan seed packages out to over 100 people in 27 states and 5 countries.   We did not meet our goal of having funding to build a full size green house and operation on our own property.  However, the exposure we got was a huge help and got the ball rolling. 

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