farmers market Digital Vision./iStock/Thinkstock
MARKET EDUCATION: Colby will be the first of five sites for a series of regional workshops to help farmers take advantage of the opportunities of growing producers for farmers markets.

Colby site of first of five regional farmers’ market vendor workshop

Educational workshops designed to help farmers interested in growing for local markets.

The popularity of farmers markets continued to grow in 2017 with the state Department of Agriculture’s Central Registration of Kansas Farmers’ Markets registering 85 markets.

With farmers markets providing a fresh food source for community consumers, as well as stimulation to the local economy and a diversification opportunity for farmers, KDA’s From the Land of Kansas program is offering a series of five regional workshops in partnership with Kansas State University Research and Extension and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

The first of those regional workshops will be held in Colby on Feb. 1. This is the first of five regional workshops, which are being hosted by KDA and KSRE this year to assist farmers market vendors and managers.

“Farmers markets provide growers a chance to tell their farm’s story, with face-to-face interaction with consumers,” says Londa Nwadike, consumer food safety specialist with K-State Research and Extension and the University of Missouri. “But there are also legal, safety and financial parameters that farmers need to understand before choosing to sell at a farmers’ market.”

The regional workshops will cover topics such as marketing and pricing tips, growing in high tunnels, regulations on selling meat, eggs and poultry direct to the consumer, SNAP programs and sales tax for vendors, vendor marketing and communications, food safety inspection requirements, and Kansas senior farmers market nutrition program certified farmer training.

KDA’s weights and measures program will also offer free scale testing and certification at the workshop for attendees.

The workshop will be held in the Multipurpose Room of the Student Union at Colby Community College. Onsite registration will open at 8:30 a.m., and the workshop will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude by 3 p.m.

Registration for this workshop is now open and is $20 per participant. Registration includes lunch; however, lunch will only be guaranteed to those participants who register by Jan. 22.

Registration forms can be found at fromthelandofkansas.com/fmworkshop, or at local extension offices.

For more information, please contact Lexi Wright at the Kansas Department of Agriculture, at 785-564-6755 or [email protected].

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