In January 2011, Megan moved to the sidelines of WNC AgOptions to solely handle media relations and other communication work for the program, while Jen Ferre took over administration, facilitation and field work duties. Megan had the pleasure of working with Jen to ensure a smooth transition between managers.
WNC AgOptions program leaders comment that the program came a long way since the time that Megan stepped into the coordination/management role in January 2008. During the next three years, Megan worked with the steering committee, primarily composed of N.C. Cooperative Extension Agents, to:
- Improve the scoring system and grant review process to better reflect the committee's intentions and the agricultural community's needs;
- Enter a successful partnership with RAFI-USA Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund, which administered 2009-2011 WNC AgOptions grants;
- Accept and distribute an additional $100,000 from Governor Beverly Purdue's Family Farm Innovation Fund, so that the program awarded a third of a million dollars in 2011;
- Initiate a community grant program for groups of farmers to respond to the local agricultural system's needs for improved distribution, packaging, processing and marketing;
- Undertake a research project into past recipient projects, which identified key areas for bettering the region's agricultural education resources;
- Evolve business planning training to best suit WNC AgOptions recipients' needs;
- Improve the program's promotional, evaluation and reporting materials.
Now that Megan does not have a full-time contract with WNC AgOptions, her colleagues and clients are asking her, "What's next for you?" She returns, "What's next for you? What are your needs as you improve current programs or develop new ones, and how can I help?"
As a social entrepreneur herself, Megan enjoys working with business owners who are creating livelihoods that enable them to grow their unique talents to improve their communities while also enhancing their own quality of life as they find their true callings. Megan is especially well suited to provide communication services for sole proprietorships that have grown to a point where the owners can no longer do all the work. They could benefit from a professional image and new marketing materials such as rack cards, a website and blog, and e-newsletters.
Contact Megan at 828.333.4151 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your project.