Kansas farmers’ markets across the state are doing much more than just providing a fresh food source. The farmers offering their produce, as well as the consumers taking advantage of the farm-fresh offerings are also simulating the local economy. There are now 130 active farmers’ markets in Kansas compared to the 26 in operation in 1987. The growth in this sector helps provide Kansans with more revenue and more high-quality food choices.
To help assist current or prospective market vendors, five regional workshops will be held sponsored in part by the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s From the Land of Kansas trademark program. “Expanding local markets allows Kansans the opportunity to boost their local economies. Farmers are able to develop relationships with their consumers, and consumers can be comforted knowing where their food was grown,” said Stacy Mayo, From the Land of Kansas trademark program director.
“Selling food directly to consumers through farmers’ markets provides growers a chance to tell their farm’s story, but has its own set of legal, safety and financial parameters,” said Londa Nwadike, consumer food safety specialist with K-State Research and Extension and the University of Missouri.
Dates and locations are as follows:
• Jan. 30 - Hays, KSU Ag Research Center, 1232 240th Ave, Hays, KS, 67601
• Feb. 7- Atchison, Highland Community College-Atchison campus, 1501 W. Riley Street, Atchison, KS 66002
• Feb. 21 - Chanute, Sanders Hall, Neosho Co. Community College, 800 West 14th Street, Chanute, KS 66720
• March 7 - Pratt, Pratt Area 4-H Center, 61 Lake Rd, Pratt, KS 67124
• March 20 – Olathe, Kansas State University- Olathe, 22201 W. Innovation Dr., Olathe KS 66061
The early-bird deadline to register for these events is Jan. 15th. A fee of $20 a person will cover the costs of the conference, including lunch. A $5 charge will be added to participants who register after Jan 15th. Registration forms can be found at: www.FromtheLandofKansas.com/FMConference.
Workshop topics will vary by location. Highlighted topics include:
• Vendor best practices
• Creating a healthy working environment
• Safe food practices
• Sales tax and Kansas webtax online
• Accepting non-cash payments
The workshops will run from 9 a.m. and conclude by 3 p.m. Regional workshops are supported by a K-State Research and Extension Epsilon Sigma Phi Endowment Grant, From the Land of Kansas and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.