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Country Living Association: 14,000 members and growing.

With a mission to create and foster a community for like-minded people who share a passion for country living, Country Living Association (CLA) has engaged more than 14,000 members. CLA membership is comprised of individuals and families who reside in the country. The association connects these members with reputable marketers that understand the unique needs associated with a rural lifestyle.

BENEFITS

Members are invited to relaxed, social gatherings across the country to share stories and gain knowledge from rural lifestyle experts. "Tips of the week" are e-mailed to members every Tuesday; these tips are provided by members as well as companies with experience in rural lifestyle issues. CLA provides several chances for organizations to connect with the rural lifestyle audience through regional and national events, and by providing "tips" and product offerings for the weekly e-mails.

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In addition, they receive a free subscription to Living the Country Life magazine, free online classifieds, an online membership directory, product offers and discounts from sponsors and partners and much more. As membership increases and more insight is gained from this audience through feedback and research, additional member benefits will be created.

EVENTS

CLA will again host the Country Living Olympics, featuring competitions such as "feed bag moving" and a "hay scramble," in Kansas City, MO, at the American Royal on October 25, 2008. Last year, people from four states competed in each event and winners were awarded $500 cash. Prizes this year will be provided by sponsoring companies.

The Country Living Experience of the Heartland (Hendricks County, IN, April 24-26) and the Country Living Experience of the Northwest (Linn County, OR, April 10-12) will be official events of CLA. These events, coordinated by Equine Promotions, are a continuation of the highly successful Heartland Farm & Ranch Expo.

This event, held last year in Cloverdale, IN, drew more than 5,000 rural lifestyle enthusiasts. Each Country Living Experience will feature seminars on rural lifestyle issues, entertaining demonstrations and hands-on clinics. These events, coupled with the regional activities, offer companies a chance to directly interact with this unique audience. Research is continually done with members via online surveys and a weekly question at www.countrylivingassociation.org.

John Deere, Nationwide Agribusiness and Allied Insurance are founding sponsors of CLA. Gold level sponsors include Fastline Publications, Tractor Supply Company and PBI Gordon. Living the Country Life is the official publication. Farm Safety 4 Just Kids provides critical safety information to members.

A variety of sponsorship opportunities are available. For companies that are developing a product specific to this audience, or for those that have a desire for their employees to gain deeper insight into the rural lifestyle market, CLA will send a representative to speak about the unique aspects of this audience. Contact Courtney Yuskis, Executive Director, CLA, at yuskis@drakeco.com or call 636/449-5088.

Editor's note: Formed two years ago, we invited the Country Living Assoc., the trade association that represents rural lifestylers, to provide an update on their activities.

by Courtney Yuskis, Executive Director, CLA
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Title Annotation:RURAL LIFESTYLE UPDATE
Author:Yuskis, Courtney
Publication:Agri Marketing
Date:Sep 1, 2008
Words:503
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