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Friday, May 6, 2016

Growing for market -- A series for small farmers

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Growing for Market series, a program designed for aspiring and traditional farmers, works to pad the pocketbook and cover a wealth of topics from farmers' markets and customer satisfaction to management issues and establishing new markets.

"This five-part series is more about cultivating a new 'crop' of successful market vendors, expanding opportunities and meeting the needs of today's consumer than about how to produce any particular kind of fruit, vegetable or livestock," said Roy Ballard, Purdue Extension educator and program co-coordinator. "There's been a huge increase in the interest of local foods.

"A recent survey shows that 71 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for their food if it comes from a local source."

Farmers' markets are also increasing in numbers. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service, the number of farmers' markets has increased by 6.8 percent from 2006 to 2008.

This is the first program designed to improve the success and profitability of farmers' market vendors as they serve their clientele, Ballard said. It will give an overview of how to generate income by growing fruit, vegetables and flowers, as well as producing meat, eggs, dairy products and a variety of value-added processed products for selling locally. "Not only will the series teach participants how to generate income, but it also will increase their success rate at being able to make a living from their endeavor," Ballard explained. Starting June 9 and continuing for five consecutive Tuesday evenings from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 pm. The last class is July 7.

Registration costs $35, which includes reference materials. We also are offering family rates at $5 for each additional family member. The additional family members will need to share materials. Registration is due by June 5. Space is limited and will be reserved on a first come, first served basis.

A brochure, which includes registration information, is available at by calling or emailing Ann Delchambre at adelchambre@purdue.edu or calling the Purdue Extension Office at 765-653-8411. Growing for the Market sessions will be taught by a team of Purdue Extension field staff, campus specialists, agency staff and market masters, as well as experienced growers and vendors who range in scale, cropping mix, marketing strategies and growing methods. This mix of speakers will provide participants with diverse perspectives, tips, practical know-how information, as well as the opportunity to network and learn from fellow gardeners, farmers, farm market managers and entrepreneurs. Some of the topics that will be covered in this class will be: Program Overview & "It All Begins with You", Basic Vegetable, Fruit and Flower Culture, Regulations-Weights and Measures, Containers, Display, Samples, WIC, Marketing Tools and Techniques, Making an Effective Display, Signs, Tents/Shelters, and "The Big Day" and what to expect.

There are many reasons for the increased interest in local foods by consumers including freshness, diversification of sources, knowing where their food came from and how it was produced. People are more likely to want to know who is growing their food and what to put a face with their food. It is very important that small farms and the public work together to create market for local foods. The mix of education and practical knowledge that this program offers is a great value for anyone wanting to sell local products. I hope you will join us for this program on June 7.

* May 30: Back in Thyme Garden Tour call 784-5671

* June 2-4: National Value Added Agriculture Conference Jerry Nelson at 812-886-9582

* June 6: Special Family Learn to Fish Class nrec@dnr.in.gov or 317-562-1338

* June 6: Herb & Garden Festival Charlestown, IN call 812-948-5470 for more information

* June 8: Leader lesson "Celebrating Quesadillas" 7 p.m. at Extension Office

* June 9: Growing For Market at adelchambre@purdue.edu or 765-653-8411

* June 9: Aquaculture Workshop 812-462-3371 or email luzar@purdue.edu

* June 11: Exploring 4-H, 7 PM, Fairgrounds

* June 10-12: Home and Family Conference at Purdue

* June 19: All Fish All Day--Combined Project WILD Aquatic and Go FishIN Workshop contact nrec@dnr.in.gov or call 317-562-1338

* June 20: Ext. Homemaker Pop Tab Collection-at Wal-mart parking lot

* June 23 & 24: 77th Annual Farm Mgmt. Tour Contact Alan Miller at 765-494-4203

* June 25: Exploring 4-H, 7 PM, Fairgrounds

* June 25 :Midwest Organic Tree Fruit Grower's Network Field Day at www.mosesorganic.org/treefruit/events.ht...

* June 25: Junior Pork Quality Assurance Program, 6:30, Fairgrounds

* June 27: Mid-Summer Garden Stroll Call 765-456-2313

* July 9: Exploring 4-H, 1 PM, Fairgrounds

* July 17-25 Putnam County Fair