Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Series of Farmers’ Market Workshops Offer Competitive Edge for Missouri Producers

Beginning Nov. 21, the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) will begin a series of statewide farmers’ market workshops focused on growing techniques for better sales at farmers’ markets, food safety and salesmanship/direct marketing. The workshops will be open to growers and farmers’ market masters.

“Farmers markets help promote nutrition education, wholesome eating habits and better food preparation while providing a boost to the local economy,” said. Gov. Matt Blunt. "These workshops provide a great opportunity for Missouri farm families to learn about new ways they can take part in the growing demand for home-grown food and agricultural resources."

Local direct marketing provides Missouri producers with a profitable opportunity to sell directly to consumers at retail prices. Farmers’ markets are growing in popularity, and in number, as consumers are becoming more health conscious and aware of the benefits of buying fresh, locally grown produce. Recently, Missouri has seen an increase of farmers’ markets with more than 140 markets around the state. These markets are poised to be successful local markets, but more growers are needed to supply a variety of products to satisfy the consumer demand.

"Consumers have the opportunity to find many great farmers’ markets offering local products while increasing rural development in many communities across Missouri,” said Don Steen, director of MDA. “The Department of Agriculture is constantly looking for ways to assist producers with new ideas and to make our state’s farmers’ markets even better. The series of farmers’ market workshops will help producers gain valuable skills in marketing to Missouri consumers.”

The Farmers’ Market Workshops will be held in seven cities across the state. The schedule is as follows:

· Nov. 21 -- Direct Marketing: Finding the Salesman in You
Hannibal, Quality Inn and Suites
· Dec. 4 -- Direct Marketing: Finding the Salesman in You
St. Joseph, Buchanan County Extension Office
· Dec. 11 -- Growing for a Farmers’ Market
Fredericktown, TBA
· Jan. 20 -- Food Safety, On the Farm and At the Market
Columbia, Boone Electric Coop Facility
· Jan. 27 -- Direct Marketing: Finding the Salesman in You
Blue Springs, Courtyard by Marriott Kansas City East/Blue Springs
· Feb. 10 -- Food Safety, On the Farm and At the Market
St. Peters, St. Charles County Extension Office
· March 6 -- Growing for a Farmers’ Market
Springfield, Springfield Library Center

Workshops are $15 per person and includes lunch and snacks. For more information or to obtain a registration form, contact Lane McConnell, marketing specialist with MDA, at (573) 751-4339 or Lane.McConnell@mda.mo.gov.


Daniel borgmann said...

This is a great idea! It is nice to see advertising and marketinig as subjects in such a program for the farmers.

Alex Tiller said...

Wow, it seems like you guys really have your stuff together. I wish other farmers market groups throughout the country were as helpful.