Friday, August 6, 2010

Beginning Farmer Workshop: Selling Directly to Consumers

I've posted this before but here is the agenda for you to look and hopefully get you excited about signing up for this Beginning Farmers Workshop. 

August 18, 2010 – 3:30 to 8:30 pm
Columbia, MO

Everything you wanted to know to start selling your farm products directly to consumers! What direct market channels work best for you? What are chefs and consumers looking for when they buy local products? What good sales techniques will make your produce sell quickly? How do you make your booth at the farmers’ market really stand out? How can simple food safety and post-harvest handling practices ensure the quality that keeps customers coming back?

Tour the Wednesday Columbia Farmers’ Market and taste great local products!

What will you learn?

By the end of this workshop you will be able to:
• Explain five qualities that make produce taste great and look visually appealing
• Describe a counselor approach to selling your local products successfully
• List three ways to merchandize your product at farmers’ markets
• Describe the importance of correct post-harvest handling procedures
• Employ basic food safety techniques for your farm

Workshop Agenda:

3:00 pm Registration

3:30 pm Welcome to the Workshop – Mary Hendrickson

3:50 pm Explore the Columbia Farmers’ Market

4:20 pm Return to the ARC for sessions

4:25 pm Discussion of the market tour

4:35 pm Evaluating Direct Market Channels – which one works best for you? – Mary Hendrickson

Discussion of the pros and cons of different direct marketing channels including farmers’ markets, CSAs, selling to restaurants etc.

5:10 pm Flavors of Local Food – What are Customers Looking for? Mike Odette, Sycamore, and they will be catering as well.

6:00 pm Post-Harvest Handling and Food Safety – What Do You Need to Know? – Jim Quinn
• Tips on basic post-harvest handling practices for produce and basic strategies to ensure food safety

6:45 pm Successful Sales Strategies for Local Foods – Mary Hendrickson
• Everyone can learn to be a good salesperson – but how. This session emphasizes the counselor approach to sales and explains the four basic steps to being good salespeople. We may have a role play here on good vs. bad salespeople

7:30 pm Merchandizing Your Products Successfully – Caroline Todd, Columbia Farmers Market
• How do successful farmers’ market vendors arrange their products? Package their products? Draw folks into their stalls? This session will cover the basics of setting up good farmers’ market stalls.

8:15 pm Closing, Evaluations

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