Writer: Jacey Wesley at firstname.lastname@example.org
(03/21/22) BATON ROUGE, La. — The LSU AgCenter will conduct three MarketReady training workshops for Louisiana food producers in May.
The workshops will take place May 3 in New Orleans, May 10 in Lafayette and May 12 in Monroe. All three events will run from 1 to 3 p.m.
“The focus of the completely redesigned training is to assist local food producers in establishing a business strategy and effectively marketing their products to local markets, restaurants, grocers, local schools, school districts and other educational institutions,” said LSU AgCenter extension associate Alessandro Holzapfel. “There are many rules and regulations in today’s market, and farmers are often unable or not prepared to meet the requirements that their buyers demand.”
The MarketReady producer training is based on best business practices identified by buyers in these markets who are actively seeking to engage their local food system. The training provides workshop participants with opportunities to get useful information on key business functions, including sustainable agriculture topics, practices, strategies and approaches.
“A lot of things have changed over the last two years, with much of today’s business happening online,” Holzapfel said. “There is some homework that needs to be done, and that is what the MarketReady producer training and the LSU AgCenter are here for.”
It’s important that producers follow current guidelines for food safety, packaging and labeling, he said. Communication between farmers and their customers also is critical.
“We are offering three in-person core presentations in May followed by several supplementary advanced topic webinars,” said Pamela Hodson, Farm to School program adviser.
She suggests participating in a core MarketReady presentation first, then taking the advanced topic sessions later.
The core workshops will be held at the Botanical Garden in New Orleans, the South Regional Library in Lafayette and the LSU AgCenter Ouachita Parish Extension Office in Monroe. The cost to attend is $10, and online preregistration at https://bit.ly/3Igw23W is required.
Contact Holzapfel at email@example.com or 225-578-2701 for more information.