October 26, 2021
KSRE/KDA Direct to Consumer Sales/Farmers Market Vendor Conference- Watch Parties and Scale Testing
Some of you may be familiar with the Regional Farmers Market Vendor workshops that KSRE has organized jointly with the Kansas Department of Agriculture in past years. Some of you may also recall that we had planned to host local “watch parties” of the virtual Farmers Market Vendor/Direct to Consumer workshops in February 2021, but then we decided to have the event go completely virtual due to the rising number of COVID cases at the time.
We are hoping to go back to the idea of hosting local “watch parties” of the virtual event for 2022. We know that some of our Kansas farmers market vendors who would greatly benefit from the workshop do not have good, or any, internet access at home or they would like to connect with others locally. Therefore, we want to see if any of our local KSRE offices might be willing to allow interested participants to join the livestream (via zoom) at their office?
We are planning to start advertising this workshop soon and would like to get an idea of how many local offices might be willing to allow participants to come watch at their office. Here is what we would be asking of the local offices:
- Provide a space with a video monitor where participants can watch the sessions that will be streamed live through zoom (thus requiring internet access).
- If possible, provide a way that participants can either ask questions by typing them into the chat/Q&A screen or by speaking them during the session.
- Assistance with advertising the event locally and keeping track of the number of people planning to watch at your location (to keep track for space available in light of COVID social distancing measures). We will ask that everyone register for the various workshops at the state level (they will need to pay $5 for all the workshops) and they will need to indicate if they are planning to watch it at a local extension office.
- You can provide lunch and/or refreshments if you like (the state level will provide those funds from the registration proceeds) but that is not required.
Benefits to your local office in hosting a socially-distanced “watch party”:
- Reach out to and build positive relationships with potentially new clientele (direct to consumer food marketers, farmers market vendors).
- Enable additional people in your area to gain information on beneficial programs for them.
- Receive multiple free copies of KSRE publications normally distributed at the workshops, including Regulations for Selling Foods Direct to Consumer and Food Labeling Regulations.
The main session will be held on Friday, February 4, 2022 (8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.) and is planned to include the following topics:
- Available KSRE and KDA From the Land of Kansas resources
- Keynote speaker on direct to consumer/farmers market vendor business management and pricing
- Keynote speaker on marketing
- KS Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program training
- Identifying common legal risks markets face and best practices for managing them
- KSRE Vegetable production resources/ Q&A session
Note that we will also be hosting noon - 1 p.m. online zoom sessions on January 31- February 3 that will cover the following topics:
Food Safety/KS Value Added Foods Lab
Weights and Measures: packaging and how to care for your scales
Meat & Poultry
Accepting SNAP/EBT payments at the market
Double Up Food Bucks program
The KDA scale certification team is also willing to come to local KSRE offices to test scales if you are willing to provide them with a space to test the scales. Note that due to the limited number of KDA scale certifiers, these will most likely be on a different day than the watch parties (particularly if we have a large number of watch parties.)
If you are interested in hosting a watch party session and/or a scale certification session in your office, please fill out this registration form.
We understand that even if you sign up to host now, you may not able to host the session(s) in February due to COVID restrictions in your office at the time. We will be sure to make that clear in our advertising to attendees as well. Please let us know if you have any questions or would like more information on this before signing up. The KSRE Local Food Systems TDT plans to hold an orientation/training session for all offices hosting a local watch party before the event.
We want to sincerely thank the Kansas SARE and KSAAC programs for their support of these workshops over the years! Thanks for all the work that all of you do in so many areas! Please contact Londa Nwadike at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions on this.