Agricultural News: Upcoming Value-Added Agriculture Workshops

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   COVID-19 has brought many challenges, but one positive it has brought is the interest in home gardening and freezer beef. Maybe you’ve discovered that you really enjoy gardening or raising freezer beef and want to try selling your products, but how do you market them? Maybe you want to sell jams, baked goods, and other processed food items but need help understanding how to start that type of business in Tennessee. UT’s Center for Profitable Agriculture has some FREE workshops coming up that may prove useful for you.

   MarketReady Workshops:

   The “MarketReady” workshops will help farmers learn what it takes to market their products directly to restaurants, grocery stores and other wholesale market channels. Topics include communication and relationship building, packaging and labeling, pricing, marketing, supply chains and delivery, storage, invoicing, insurance, quality assurance and proper temperature control, certifications and audits, and working cooperatively. Participants will choose one of three identical core content overview sessions and then be invited to join in a five-part series of advanced in-depth sessions to focus on key business functions. The currently available core sessions as of the date this article was written (11/30/2020) are as follows:

•January 11 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. CST

•January 15 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. CST

   Advanced topic sessions will be offered for five consecutive Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. CST starting January 27, 2021. Contact Jared Bruhin with MarketReady questions at jmbruhin@utk.edu.

   Exploring Agritourism for Your Farm:

   The “Exploring Agritourism for Your Farm” workshop will help farmers understand what it takes to evaluate, develop and market an agritourism operation. Topics discussed will include an introduction to agritourism and industry trends, creating the customer experience, business planning, regulatory considerations, liability and insurance, and more. Two workshops have been scheduled with each consisting of four, two-hour sessions. The next available workshop will be held March 2, 4, 9, and 11, 2021 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. CST.

   Starting a Food Manufacturing Business in Tennessee:

   If you are interested in making jams, fruit butters, baked goods, pickles, salsas, chow chows, sauces or other processed food items, the “Starting a Food Manufacturing Business in Tennessee” workshop is for you. This workshop will help farmers understand what it takes to evaluate, develop and market a food manufacturing business in Tennessee. Topics discussed will include business planning, food manufacturing regulations, food safety, marketing, financing, risk management and business and sales tax. This workshop will be held April 6, 8, 13 and 15, 2021, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. CST.

   Contact Megan Bruch Leffew with questions about the agritourism and food manufacturing workshops at mleffew@utk.edu.

   Space is limited. Pre-registration is required for all workshops. By the time this article reaches you, one or more of the sessions listed as available may be full. Additional sessions may be added to the schedule at a later date. Learn more about these workshop opportunities, availability, and links to register at tiny.utk.edu/CPAEvents.

   These workshops will fulfill a Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP) requirement in the Agritourism, Fruit and Vegetable and Value-Added Producer Diversification Sectors.