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Learn how to market your locally grown food

Do you grow vegetables and fruits or make tasty jams and jellies you would like to sell? A course on Selling Local Foods will cover everything from food safety to the best marketing options.

The University of Missouri Extension in Jackson County is offering a four-session course on Selling Local Foods beginning July 11.

Selling locally is a way for producers to diversify revenue sources, reduce transportation costs and support their communities, says Jeff Samborski, MU Extension business development specialist.

“While the farmers market is the traditional place to buy local food, other venues are eager to meet the growing demand for fresh and local items, including restaurants, grocery stores, schools and other institutions,” Samborski says.

The course will show how to market products, build relationships with customers, use appropriate food handling, safety and labeling practices, keep good records and budget properly.

All sessions are scheduled from 6-8:30 p.m. at the MU Extension Center, 1600 NE Coronado Drive, Blue Springs, MO. The cost is $79 for all four classes. If space is available, participants may register for individual classes for $29 each.

Class schedule:

July 11: How to create a business plan

July 13: Understanding and serving customers; managing assets; determining production costs; budgeting

July 18: Food safety: best practices from field to market; proper food labeling

July 20: Overview of most frequently used marketing outlets (farmers markets, produce auctions, restaurants, etc.) and respective advantages and disadvantages; effective use of traditional and digital media to create a positive identity

Instructors include Samborski; Londa Nwadike, MU Extension state food safety specialist; Kelly Dyer, manager of entrepreneurship, Missouri Chamber of Commerce; and Vicki S. Cannon social media marketing consultant, Cannon Social Media Solutions.

To register, contact Samborski at 816-252-5051 or [email protected], or register online at MU Extension.

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