This blog began through a NIFA grant for Missouri Beginning Farmers. It continues today as a way for beginning farmers to learn about new ideas and to hear about upcoming events of interest. It is maintained by Debi Kelly (email@example.com).
As an Extension Associate with the University of Missouri, I work with beginning farmers, small farms, alternative agriculture and organic farming. I am also the Co-coordinator for the Missouri Sustainable Agriculture and Research (SARE) Education Professional Development Program (PDP).
Meet the Buyers Event for Local Farmers - March 3rd
Farmers throughout Missouri and Illinois are invited to attend a Meet the Buyers event to meet local and regional food buyers. The event will take place March 3, 2015, at the St. Louis University campus in the Il Monastero Building, 3050 Olive Boulevard, St. Louis, Mo., from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.
The event is a unique opportunity for farmers to meet with buyers one-on-one and learn what it takes to do business with the grocery and food service industries in the area. Extension representatives will present introductory information about two programs, MarketReady and Good Agriculture Practices (GAPs). Market Ready is a program designed to teach best commercial business practices between growers and various retail markets. GAPs are a set of recommendations that can help improve the quality and safety of the produce grown.
Representatives from a foodservice distributor, grocery retailer and school foodservice management company also will be on hand to share information on how those specific industries work and how farmers can tap into them. Rusty Lee, owner, Lee Farms, LLC, will demonstrate to farmers how to sort, grade and pack a produce box and how to distribute on a small scale.
A limited number of AgriMissouri scholarships are available for AgriMissouri members to attend this event. Contact Catherine Bohnert at (573) 522-9213 or firstname.lastname@example.org for details. Registrations must be confirmed by February 25th to be eligible.
The following organizations are partnering to support the one-day event: Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Department of Agriculture, University of Missouri Extension, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Specialty Growers Association, Illinois Department of Agriculture and University of Illinois Extension.