Farmers' market workshop set for Oct. 29
Bison producers and other producers interested in capitalizing on the opportunity to utilize farmers’ markets as a successful business strategy are invited to attend a half-day workshop on Friday, Oct. 29, 2010, at the Embassy Suites Hotel at I-70 and Havana in Denver, CO.
Hosted by the National Bison Association (NBA) in cooperation with the Rocky Mountain Buffalo Association (RMBA) and the U.S.
Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service, the workshop will cover subjects regarding planning, merchandising, marketing, and leveraging a presence at farmers’ markets to build a successful year-round business.
Participants at the workshop will utilize a curriculum developed by a working group of buffalo producers with extensive experience in farmers’ markets. The workshop and curriculum are targeted to bison producers, but the information can be useful for people marketing other products as well. The session is open to all producers.
Helping to conduct the workshop will be Elizabeth Carmichael of Bear Mountain Ranch near Steamboat Springs, CO. Bear Mountain Ranch actively sells their products through two farmers’ markets in the Denver area.
Cindy Torres, manager of the Longmont Farmers Market, and president of the Colorado Farmers’ Marketing Association, will also provide participants with information from the perspective of market administrators.
Dave Carter, executive director at NBA, noted that most bison producers are small-scale and rely on direct marketing as an important part of their business.
“Most bison ranchers in Colorado have relatively small herds, so they must maximize the return on every animal they produce” Carter said. “Farmers’ markets are an important outlet for those ranchers to connect directly with customers.
“Fortunately, there is a strong upsurge in farmers’ markets as people across the state—and across the country—seek food that is fresh, natural, local and delicious. Our workshop is intended to increase the ability of producers to connect with those customers,” Carter added.
The workshop will run from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on Oct. 29. Registration is $20 per attendee, but is free to all participants who are members of NBA or RMBA. All participants will receive a take-home copy of the workshop curriculum handbook.
To register, please contact NBA Assistant Director Jim Matheson at jim@bisoncen tral.com, or by calling 303/ 292-2833.
The workshop is being funded through the Farmers’ Market Promotion Program Grant Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA, under No. 12-25-G-0920. — WLJ