Iowa MarketReady Offered for Local Food Producers to Reach Beyond Local Consumers

AMES, Iowa -- While significant opportunity exists to build on the demand for local products in local markets, many farmers are hesitant or unprepared to meet the transactional requirements required by institutional, wholesale and restaurant buyers to manage food safety, insurance, product quality and traceability risks. Iowa MarketReady, a new program from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Value Added Agriculture, addresses these issues and seeks to educate food suppliers to succeed in today's markets and continue to be profitable, while utilizing a new marketing stream.
 
The training is based around best business practices identified by buyers in these markets that are actively seeking local suppliers. Iowa MarketReady will help farm vendors selling dairy, fruits, meats and vegetables design a business strategy to succeed.
 
This two-day training will be held Feb. 20 and March 6, from noon – 5 p.m. both days at the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Linn County office, 383 Collins Road NE, Suite 201, Cedar Rapids. Producers need to attend both days of the workshop.

Topics to be covered include communications and relationship building, packaging, labels, supply and delivery, post-harvest handling for produce, grading, insurance, regulatory and marketing.

The workshop costs $55 per person or $90 per couple or two employees from the same farm. Fees include training materials, light lunch and refreshments.

Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, call or email Christa at 515-294-4430 or hartc@iastate.edu. Please give the name of the registrant, address, phone number, e-mail address and indicate whether the registrant is a produce or livestock/poultry/egg producer.

Sponsors of the program include Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Value Added Agriculture Program and Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development.

Communications Specialist, Value Added Agriculture Program
515-294-4430
hartc@iastate.edu
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