Local Food Producer Workshops Planned

The ongoing popularity of farmers markets and locally grown food isn’t really a surprise to Rebecca McMahon.

“Everyone wants to have access to safe, healthy food,” said McMahon, administrator for Kansas State University’s Local Food System program, “and it’s even better if we can support our local farmers and economy while doing it.”

McMahon is part of a group of K-State Research and Extension specialists, agents and staff that will be hosting four regional workshops to help farmers and small food businesses that sell their products direct-to-consumer or through other local marketing channels – such as farmer’s markets, restaurants, grocery stores and farm stands.

The lineup of meetings includes:

  • Feb. 9 – K-State Olathe (22201 W. Innovation Drive). 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. More information: Online, or 913-307-7391. This workshop also will be streamed on Zoom, and available in Spanish.
  • Feb. 10 – Hutchinson Community College (1300 N. Plum). 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. More information: Online, or 620-662-2371.
  • Feb. 23 – Parsons: Southeast Research-Extension Center (25092 Ness Road). 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. More information: Online, or 620-421-4826.
  • March 1 – Hays: Agriculture Research Center (1232 240th Avenue). 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. More information: Online, or 785-628-9430.

The cost of each workshop is $20 for early registration, or $25 after. Check the information for each site for details about early registration.

“These workshops will help local farmers and food businesses increase their ability to produce and sell high quality, safe and healthy food that benefits their local communities,” McMahon said.

The agenda for each workshop includes updates on the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition program, and the Double Up Food Bucks program – which help senior citizens and low-income families access fresh produce in the summer months; and a discussion on regulations associated with selling local meat, poultry, eggs, and produce.

Other topics include marketing and business development; vegetable production; extending the season; and considerations when selling value-added foods, like jams and salsas.

The workshops are co-sponsored by the Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops, and the Kansas Department of Agriculture.