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Market Readiness Workshops Planned for Farmers in New York State

by Joe Kilmer
Thu, Nov 10th 2016 09:00 am

Market Readiness Workshops Planned for Farmers in New York State

Last winter, FINYS provided Market Readiness training to 25 agricultural service providers from across New York. Supported by USDA's Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program, these training sessions provided attendees with the information and resources needed to assist farmers in building successful relationships with and increasing sales to institutional buyers.

Now, graduates (
full list here) from the Market Readiness training program are beginning to schedule workshops for farmers who are interested in selling farm products directly to institutions or through distributors and food hubs. Training topics include food service marketing trends, requirements for food safety and insurance, packaging, and more. Upon completing a Market Readiness workshop, farmers will take home a resource-packed binder, and be eligible for follow-up assistance as well as opportunities to connect with buyers in their region.

Farm to institution sourcing brings healthy, local food to schools, colleges, hospitals, child care, senior meal and emergency feeding programs every day. For example, food service director Jim Liebow coordinates meals for 3,600 students at Brockport Central School, west of Rochester, New York. "I'm a firm believer that if a kid is going to eat it, it's worth spending the extra money," Jim says. For the past five years, he's purchased apples from Kirby's Farm Market just three miles from the school, and aims to buy local year-round.
Read about Brockport CSD and Kirby's Farm Market's story here.

Upcoming Market Readiness workshops
New workshops will be added throughout the year to our website.

Accessing Wholesale Markets, November 17, 2016, 9am - 3pm at the Saratoga County Cornell Cooperative Extension in Ballston Spa, NY