Connecting Farm$ to Local Market$
Networking workshop is designed to introduce Kentucky growes to wholesale and retail market opportunities
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Farmers and food buyers are invited to talk about how they can work together to get more Kentucky Proud foods into Kentucky stores, restaurants, and schools in a conference Sept. 14 in Bowling Green.
Agriculture Commissioner James Comer will be the keynote luncheon speaker at “Connecting Farm$ to Local Market$,” scheduled for 8:45 a.m.-3 p.m. CDT at the National Corvette Museum Conference Center. The program will be presented by the Louisville Farm to Table Program, the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
“We’ve made tremendous strides in opening markets for Kentucky Proud foods in recent years, but there’s still plenty of room to grow,” Commissioner Comer said. “This event will help make that possible by giving retail and institutional buyers an opportunity to talk directly to producers about what they want and how they can do business together.”
“Louisville alone is a $3 billion food market,” said Sarah Fritschner, Louisville Farm to Table coordinator. “It makes sense that Kentucky farmers get a part of that market if they want it.”
State wholesale distributors, school food service purchasing representatives, retail restaurant owners, state resort parks, and others will present locally grown product demands as well as purchase and pay procedures for future contract opportunities. Panel presentations and round table discussions will provide opportunities to network one-on-one. Participants will explore options for future purchase relationships. The potential for regional product collection “hubs” will be discussed.
Delicious local food will be highlighted at the “Plate it Up, Kentucky Proud” luncheon, catered by Bowling Green’s Home Café. “I’m a strong supporter of locally grown products and look forward to showcasing many of our best regional foods,” said Josh Poling, Home Café chef and owner.
County Extension agents will receive in-service education credits for attendance. Registration is $15 per person and is due Sept. 7 to the Warren County Cooperative Extension Service, 3231 Nashville Road, Bowling Green, Kentucky 42101. For more information, visit http://ces.ca.uky.edu/Warren/farmdollars.