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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 and requirements of restaurants, schools, grocery and retail stores, wholesale distributors, and other larger-scale business outlets. The MarketReady Training Program also addresses the market development, risks, and relationships growers and producers must manage as they seek to develop relationships with these types of local food buyers and in these types of marketplaces. MarketReady will provide you with professional marketing education to take the next step in your farm's business plan.  

MarketReady seeks to educate and assist growers and producers to succeed and be profitable in today's markets. Our training is based on best business practices identified by local food buyers in these markets who are actively seeking to engage local suppliers. MarketReady will help growers and producers of any crop and/or product build better business strategies for success.

Is MarketReady for me?

The MarketReady Training Program is for growers and producers interested in selling to larger volume markets such as restaurants, schools, grocery and retail outlets, wholesale distribution, etc. Our program can be beneficial to those who are just thinking about the idea and to those who are already establishing relationships with buyers in these marketplaces. 

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?

Our training program and events are provided free of charge so we can be accessible to all growers and producers in Kentucky. For this reason, we are thankful to our industry partners! You can check them out here.

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.