Farmers who want to pursue their dream of starting a food business can learn how to turn that dream into reality at six Farmers Market Boot Camps to be held across Tennessee in January and February. The workshops will be taught by specialists from the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture and are designed for farmers who want to direct market food at farmers markets, roadside stands, CSAs and you-pick operations.
“Understanding which foods can be made in a home kitchen, where they may be sold and how to properly label them is important for anyone thinking about making a food product in their home,” says Hal Pepper with the UT Center for Profitable Agriculture. Only foods considered non-potentially hazardous can be made in a home kitchen. Potentially hazardous food products such as pickled vegetables and eggs, sauces and dressings, products that contain meat or poultry and foods that must be refrigerated must be made in a commercial kitchen. Pepper says the workshop will help producers understand the elements of a commercial kitchen as well as the costs and regulations associated with food manufacturing.
Other topics to be addressed in these all-day workshops include the unique production challenges and marketing opportunities for selected fruit and nut crops, trends in online food marketing and the basics of revenue insurance.
Preregister to attend the workshops online at http://tiny.utk.edu/bootcamp2018. There is a $20 registration fee and lunch will be provided. Preregistration is required at least 5 business days prior to the workshop and space is limited.
The workshops will be held in Clarksville (Jan. 30), Martin (Jan. 31), Memphis (Feb. 1), Blountville (Feb. 6), Alcoa (Feb. 7) and Shelbyville (Feb. 8). The same training will be conducted in each location. Check-in begins at 9 a.m. local time and sessions will last from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
These workshops fulfill a Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP) educational requirement in ONLY the following Producer Diversification sectors: Fruits & Vegetables and Value-Added. For additional information regarding educational programs for TAEP requirements, please contact Clay Dunivan at the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, 615-837-5348 or visit the TAEP website: https://www.tn.gov/agriculture/farms/taep.html.
For more information about the workshops, visit the website for the Center for Profitable Agriculture: ag.tennessee.edu/cpa. Look for a link under the “educational events” menu.