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What does the MarketReady Training cover?

During the MarketReady Training Program, we work our way through key business functions. We discuss the differing needs of restaurants, schools, grocery and retail stores, wholesale, and other business outlets. The MarketReady Training Program addresses the market development, risks, and relationships small farmers and ranchers must manage as they seek to develop relationships with restaurants, grocery/retail, wholesale, and food service buyers. MarketReady will provide you with professional marketing education to make the next step in your farm's business plan. 

The MarketReady Training Program addresses issues such as food safety, insurance, product quality, traceability risks, etc., and will prepare producers for these business transactions selling dairy, fruits, meats, and vegetables. 

MarketReady seeks to educate and assist farmers and food suppliers to succeed and be profitable in today's markets. The training is based on best business practices identified by buyers in these markets that are actively seeking to engage local suppliers. MarketReady will help farm vendors selling dairy, fruits, meats, and vegetables design better business strategies for success.

Is MarketReady for me?

The MarketReady Program is for growers and producers interested in selling to schools, restaurants, grocery stores and other retail outlets, wholesale, etc. The program can be beneficial to those who are just thinking about the idea and for those who are already establishing relationships with buyers.

Extension agents can receive continuing education hours for attending our training. 

What is the training like?

During our virtual program, we cover the key business functions in a shortened, 90-minute training session. Representatives from KCARDKDA, and KHC are still in attendance to speak about their programs. Our virtual training is free to attend, but requires registration in advance. Please keep an eye out on our Upcoming Events Page for future training dates.

What happens after the training?

We hope you will leave with new ideas and a positive outlook to move your business forward. The materials provided include an ever-growing list of resources that you will use to find the answers and help that you are looking for. However, we do have Advanced Topic Webinars and Buyer Tours for continued education.

Our Advanced Topic Webinars are the newest addition to the MarketReady Program. They are designed to give MarketReady graduates, Extension Agents, and Service Providers an in-depth look at the specific business functions discussed in the training with the help of industry professionals. The webinars are approximately 90 minutes in length and discuss the topics in a conversational format allowing participants to interact with the presenters. 

Our Buyer Tours are offered a few times a year and are a perfect way to familiarize yourself with Buyers in your area. In 2022, we took farmers and technical assistance providers to visit the following buyers in the Lexington and Louisville area: Jefferson County Public Schools Nutrition Service Center,  Rainbow Blossom, In-Season Harvest Kitchen, What Chefs Want, GoodFoods Co-op, FoodChain Inc., Honeywood, and Aramark Dining Services. The Buyer Tour allows you to get a behind-the-scenes look at what happens at various marketplaces. Attendees will be able to ask questions, talk with buyers, and get first-hand experience with what it is like to bring products to a restaurant, grocery/retail store, or institutional buyer.

What does it cost?

Registration for our virtual MarketReady Producer Training is free of charge. 

Who do I contact?

For more information or to register for a training, please contact:
Savannah Columbia, Physical address: 407 Charles E. Barnhart Bldg., Lexington, KY 40546

What are other helpful resources?

Key Contacts of MarketReady

Click here to view the Key Contacts for MarketReady.