Jul 8, 2019
Ohio State offers Foodpreneur School to expand market outreach

Farmers that have experienced success selling goods direct to consumers often find it difficult to reach and navigate new market channels such as restaurants, grocers, and specialty stores. Foodpreneur School prepares entrepreneurs to grow their farm’s reach to new customers, increase sales and achieve new levels of profitability.

“A Foodpreneur is any entrepreneur selling food, like a small business owner selling jarred salsa to retailers or a farmer selling produce or meat at a farmer’s market,” said Hannah Scott, program manager of The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Center for Cooperatives. “Foodpreneur is for entrepreneurs who are ready to grow, particularly by focusing on marketing and sales.”

Workshop attendees will learn from industry experts and educators from OSU. A panel of buyers and food distributors will share their experiences accessing retail and wholesale markets. Hands-on interactive activities will prompt attendees to consider special issues around the dynamic nature of consumer food preferences, best practices for packaging and labeling, and strategies to strategically manage sales. The workshop will cover additional topics including: brand positioning and goal setting.

“Foodpreneur is designed for producers who have been selling direct for two or more years and are looking to diversify their market beyond direct to consumer channels such as farmers’ markets,” said Christie Welch, direct agricultural marketing specialist for OSU Extension note. “The workshop will help producers focus on their packaging, branding, and best market channels.”

Attendees will work with coaches to craft a unique blueprint to grow their food and farm business.

“Foodpreneurs will leave with identified next steps that they can implement immediately upon completion of the workshop,” Welch said.

Foodpreneur School will take place Sept. 23 and 30, 2019 at Keller Market House in Lancaster, Ohio. Space is limited to 30 participants. Cost to attend is $125. The Fairfield County Farm Bureau has partnered with OSU to offer a discounted rate of $75 to Ohio Farm Bureau members.

“Value-added enterprises offer excellent economic opportunities for local farmers,” said Ivory Harlow, organization director of the Fairfield County Farm Bureau. “Foodpreneur educates members to grow profitable farm and food businesses, ensuring consumers have access to local food products.”

To learn more and apply visit go.osu.edu/foodschool. Deadline to apply is Aug. 15, 2019. Ohio Farm Bureau’s mission is working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities. Learn more at ofbf.org.

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