Being a Virtual Assistant has MANY advantages, one of which is getting to choose your clients.
One of my first decisions as a Virtual Assistant was to choose clients that not only aligned with my values but could also teach me a thing or two.
I never thought some organic pork farmers from upstate New York would be some of my greatest teachers.
Where I met the farmers
I met the farmers where I usually find my clients, in a Facebook group. I saw a post in Amy Porterfield’s Online Marketing Made Easy Facebook group (a great group btw) where they were looking for help.
I responded (along with a gazillion other people… very typical in Facebook groups) and went about my day, not giving it much thought. Anyone who’s a VA looking for clients in Facebook groups knows the competition is steep and you just post, give value, and hope for the best!
Surprisingly, they reached out, and we met via Zoom.
They were NOT what I was expecting!
What the farmers are really like
Jenney and Greg are a super cute, young, married couple that decided to become farmers after graduating from college. You can read about the start of their journey here. Jenney is also a mid-wife and Greg has his Ph.D. in Chemistry. They are definitely not some uneducated country bumpkins!
They’re super passionate about the land they farm on, the animals they raise, and the customers they serve.
And they’ve had a very hard time asking for help.
They knew they were getting to the point where they just couldn’t wear ALL the hats, but letting go of that responsibility was hard.
We began our working relationship in February 2020 and were just getting used to working together when the unimaginable happened.
A worldwide pandemic.
How the farmers handled COVID
Experience in “how to handle a pandemic” was definitely not on anyone’s resume. But the farmer’s handled it with the care and attention it deserved.
They went right into action, listening to podcasts, reading books, and holding company (the 3 of us!) meetings.
We discussed how best to keep customers safe while still supplying them with the food their family needed, and to convey this message with the right tone.
They’ve made some hard decisions concerning their business (as we all have), but being a part of that decision-making process was priceless.
What I’ve learned from the farmers
- How to truly care for your customers/clients
- The importance of taking care of our land
- How to handle confrontation
- The importance of showing compassion to all animals, even the ones we raise for food
- How to plan a launch
- How to write newsletters
- How to try something and be ok with failure
- How to pivot when something isn’t working
- How it feels to truly be a part of a team (and know your opinions matter)
- Where the saying “she’s a tough old bird” came from
- Always looking for ways to serve better and give more value
- Willingness to try new things
- How it feels to be so special you’re announced to the community as a team member (and I know how protective the farmers are of their people, so this meant a lot)
Who are the farmers?
Meet Jenney & Greg of Stonecrop Farm. If you ever find yourself in Rochester, NY, I suggest looking them up and trying their pork, turkey, eggs, ginger, or chicken. I hear the food is AMAZING.
I hope one day I’ll be able to meet them in person and see their beautiful farm!