MarketReady Workshops Help Local Food Growers Scale Up

Information on market development risks and relationship building to be provided

January 3, 2019, 10:54 am | Emily Coll

display of fresh garden vegetables.AMES, Iowa ― Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host three MarketReady workshops in January and February. The half-day workshops are designed to provide information for commercial vegetable and fruit growers on managing risks and developing relationships with buyers to sell their products into wholesale markets.

The workshops will be held on the following dates:

  • January 29 – ISU Extension and Outreach Wapello County office, 13011 120th Avenue, Ottumwa. To register, call 641-682-5491 by 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 25.
  • February 19 – Citizens State Bank Youth Development Center, 800 N. Maple St., Monticello. To register, call 319-465-3224 by 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15.
  • February 26 – Cass County Community Center, 805 West 10th Street, Atlantic. To register, call 712-243-1132 by 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22.

Each workshop will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Topics will include communication and relationship building, packaging, labels, pricing, post-harvest produce handling, grading, insurance, marketing, and state and federal regulations.

“We decided to bring this program back to Iowa because many farmers expressed interest in diversifying their operations to include wholesale markets,” said Emily Coll, program assistant for the ISU Extension and Outreach Local Foods Program. “We offer them help understanding these markets and deciding whether the return on investment would be acceptable.”

Cost for the workshop is $20 per person or $35 per couple (or two employees from the same farm). The fee includes training materials, a light lunch and refreshments.

For more information, contact Coll at or 515-296-0586.


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