University of kentucky, College of Agriculture, MarketReady Training program

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Many farmers are hesitant, or unprepared, to meet the requirements that buyers from local restaurants, schools, and grocery/wholesale/retail businesses have for their suppliers. Buyers need their suppliers to manage their own food safety, insurance, product quality, traceability risks, and much more. MarketReady addresses these issues and seeks to educate our fabulous food suppliers about how to succeed in today's markets, in order to keep farming. The training is based around best business practices identified by buyers in these markets that are actively seeking to engage local suppliers. MarketReady will help farm vendors selling dairy, fruits, meats, vegetables, value added products, and more create a successful business strategy.

Business functions covered by the MarketReady Training:

  • Communication and Relationship Building
  • Packaging
  • Labeling
  • Pricing
  • Supply
  • Delivery
  • Storage
  • Invoicing
  • Insurance
  • Quality Assurance & Temperature Control, Audits & Certifications
  • Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Working Cooperatively
  • Marketing
  • Local Products for Local Markets

During our trainings, we work our way through the key business functions listed above, and we discuss the differing needs buyers have in restaurants, schools, and grocery/wholesale/retail businesses. We typically have a guest speaker panel from 11:30 to 12:30 with buyers from restaurants, schools, and/or grocery/wholesale/retail businesses. We also typically have representatives from state organizations, such as KCARD and KDA, present on the panel to inform farmers of helpful state resources and programs. Then we try to provide a truly local lunch, with as much local food as possible, and for the remainder of our time we will cover the rest of the key business functions. We ask for a $25 registration fee to cover lunch, refreshments, and all training materials.  Agents will receive in-service credit for attending MarketReady.