Virginia Cooperative Extension announces two Market Ready Training programs in November for local farmers who want to learn how to make products accessible and appealing to restaurant clientele.

This six-hour course is designed to help growers navigate marketing to meet the buyer’s expectations, overcome obstacles, and build networks with other growers and Extension experts in the Shenandoah Valley.

Farmers who supply produce, meats, eggs, dairy, or value-added products will learn the best practices for supplying larger volume markets, such as restaurants and other retail food outlets. Topic areas to be covered include:

  • Exploring current food policy legislation;
  • Building relationships and communicating with managers and chefs;
  • Designing effective packaging and labeling;
  • Developing marketing strategies;
  • Crafting alternative pricing structures;
  • Addressing regulatory concerns; and
  • Using Virginia’s Market Maker portal to conduct market research and connect with buyers.

Completion of this course will serve to prepare farmers and their managers for profitable conversations with restaurant chefs and owners at future networking events in the area.

The program is being held at two dates and locations, Nov. 10 at The Gathering Place in Harrisonburg, and Nov. 17 at MidAtlantic Farm Credit in Winchester. The cost is $15 per person, which includes lunch and training materials. Register online or contact French Price at the Northern District Extension Office by phone, 540-432-6029 Ext. 117, or email

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